Tag Archives: gas meter

David Vs. Goliath: The Gas Meter Revisited

DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS: An old house. Extensive flooding. One family. A behemoth-sized utility company. What do all these things have in common? A house elevation project. What originally began as a Stalin-esque shake down from conEdison, our utility company, making us question if we had somehow woken up in a post WWII Eastern Bloc country, has rounded the bend dramatically this week. Once told we would have to pay huge sums of money and be forced to endure months of waiting to have a new gas line and a new gas meter installed (with only conEdison permitted to complete the work), has now been (hopefully) resolved. Huge sigh of relief.

UNTANGLING A MISUNDERSTANDING: Initially, conEdison had mistakenly understood that WE were requesting for our gas line and gas meter to be moved for frivolous reasons, prompting them to take a strong-arm approach to our project.* Only after making daily calls to conEdison, that all seemed to lead to a murky quagmire, did we resort to contacting those much higher up in the organization. Although the CEO did not take our call, those not far below him did. Subsequently,  our project was quickly repositioned as “flood recovery” and as such is being handled quite differently.

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We now hope to have the new gas line and gas meter installed as early as next week, not seven months from now as originally told.  It has already been approved by their engineering department and will no longer require any permits.

USE CAUTION: Let this serve as a cautionary tale to anyone pursing an elevation project for flood mitigation. When talking to the utility company be certain to use the correct terminology. Always talk in terms of “flood recovery” and NEVER use the word new, e.g., “I’m calling about a new gas meter.” The word “New” trips the wire of taking your project down a much darker path of time delays, costly installations and cases of Pepto Bismal.

For better or worse, the homeowner MUST handle this conversation. Architects, builders, plumbers, etc., seem terrified of the big, bad utility company and what it could mean to other projects in the future. They have a relationship to protect.

UP NEXT: Will conEdison show up next week as told? Will our gas be turned back on then or require yet another chain of phone calls? Stay tuned …

*additional information available in previous posts

Gas Meter Location for Elevated House

WEEK 11 OF HOUSE ELEVATION PROJECT: This week began with a visit from our local utility company (ConEd) in effort to determine the new placement for our gas meter. As the old gas meter was previously located in our basement and said basement is scheduled to disappear, the meter must be relocated. By ‘disappear’ I mean that the former basement will be back-filled then covered over with cement, as per protocol when elevating a house in a floodplain.

Gas meter locked for safety during the lift.

Gas meter locked for safety prior to the lift.

Contingent to being able to move back home, we will have to have the gas reconnected, making this a crucial part of the project. It is also one where lengthy delays could come into play. Here’s why: The ConEd site supervisor stopped by the house this morning to determine the new location for the gas meter. She must turn in the specific site location along with pictures to the ConEd engineering department. Estimated time for the engineers to approve the site – 2 weeks.

Once approved by ConEd engineers, they will submit the plans to the building department in our city in order to get a permit to complete the work. Time frame –  another 2 weeks. After they have the building permit, ConEd will put our project on their construction schedule. Time frame???? Lady luck will hopefully be in our corner.

Because the current gas lines are from the 1920’s, ConEd will need to install brand new lines from the street to our house, requiring some excavation work  (read: more time) and not  simply moving a meter.

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In the photo above, you can see the gas meter on the remaining portion of the front wall, just after our house had been raised. The new meter will be located on the side of our house, a few feet in front of where my son in the red shirt is standing.

The relocating of a little gas meter is going to be a big part of the deciding factor as to when we can move back into our house. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be the exception to the adage that the energy companies take forever to get anything done.