How do I convert to natural gas?

Beginning your conversion to natural gas is simple and Summit is ready to be there with you every step of the way. To convert to natural gas:

  • Determine if natural gas is available in your area by contacting Summit Natural Gas at 1-800-909-7642
  • Seek several price quotes for the purchase and installation of natural gas equipment from HVAC contractors. If you need any recommendations, Summit is happy to provide you with a list of recommended contractors.
  • Schedule the installation of any necessary equipment with your HVAC contractor.
  • After the natural gas piping has been run from our meter to your equipment and is operational, have your HVAC contractor contact Summit to have the outside meter installed and gas turned on. If possible, have your HVAC contractor give Summit 48 hours of advance notice from your desired time you would like service turned on.

When can I expect service once my contract is signed?

Our goal is to turn around a new service request in 4-6 weeks for customers who are on existing mains from the contract signing to contractor installation.

How do I find an HVAC contractor?

There are a number of great licensed contractors in Maine that can help you with your conversion needs. We are happy to provide you with a list of licensed contractors. Efficiency Maine maintains a list as well.

At Summit, we recommend getting quotes from several different contractors to ensure you get the best possible deal and highest quality work.

We want to ensure that your transition to natural gas is as simple and seamless as possible and are always willing to provide you with recommendation or even review quotes with you to ensure you get the best possible deal.

What are the differences between the services of Summit and my HVAC contractor?

Summit Natural Gas of Maine is a natural gas provider. We handle and are responsible for everything up to the outlet of the meter bar. Any report of natural gas (i.e. odor) or other abnormal operating condition should be reporter to Summit immediately by calling 1-800-909-7642.

Any work past the point of the meter bar is your (the customer’s) responsibility and should be performed by a locally licensed HVAC contractor. This includes any work on specific equipment or an appliance, not involving an odor of gas.

As always, if you have any questions or are unsure who is responsible for a repair or issue, Summit is always available to provide help.

How can I get pipe extended to my home?

If natural gas is available in your area call Summit at 1-800-909-7642 and we will tell you if a natural gas main is near your home. If it is, we will work with you to connect your home to our gas main.

Summit is always working to expand to new communities so we can continue to grow the amount of Maine families and neighborhoods we serve. If we do not currently service your community, we want to hear from you! Visit our Request Service page so we can gauge where best to expand to next.

Does new pavement have any effect on my getting a natural gas line?

Yes, if your street was paved within the last 5 years, it may affect your ability to connect to the gas line.

If you are interested in gas service and do have new pavement, we encourage you to contact a Summit Sales Representative at 1-800-909-7642 to look into the particulars regarding your street and your ability to connect to natural gas.

Will a backhoe be coming to my property?

Probably, but we have tools that will help minimize impact to your property. Natural gas is transported through an underground pipeline system, so as a result, your lawn will need to be trenched from the location where your gas meter will be placed – usually on an exterior side wall of your house near your heating system – to the gas main located under or next to your street. On private property, the trench for your service line is usually about 2 feet deep by about 2 feet wide, from the main line to your meter location. Depending on the situation, we can usually bore under driveways and sidewalks when installing the gas line to avoid costly restoration of paved areas and to provide continuous access to them. Once your gas line is installed, we will cover the trench with topsoil and seed, unless you make specific arrangements beforehand. Remember to water the new seed daily until your grass is established!

What is the benefit of elevated pressure (2 PSIG) in my natural gas system?

2 PISG increasing the delivery pressure of your natural gas system, which helps reduce costs. By delivering higher operating pressure, both the size and cost of the natural gas system can be reduced. The added pressure will ensure that the gas appliance at the other end of the pipe will have the natural gas supply needed for optimal performance at all times.

Adding pressure is also used for multi-family units and secondary out door lines (yard lines) that supply gas to swimming pool boilers, generators, fire pits, etc.

This is an easy cost savings method used by your gas utility to provide you with solutions to your energy needs.

Why does my meter measure in CCF’s and my bill is measured in therms?

Meters measure the amount of cubic feet of natural gas you use in a month. That’s why they measure in CCF’s, which is a volumetric measure of natural gas. It represents how much gas is contained in a space equal to one hundred cubic feet.

Therms are a measurement of energy equal to 100,000 BTU (British thermal unites, which is the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of one poud of water by one degree Farenheit). A therm represents the amount of energy provided by the natural gas you consume rather than the amount of volume. The same volume of gas may contain different amounts of energy.

Why do you bill in therms?

We bill in therms because we believe it is more fair and equitable for all customers. Billing in therms also offers greater consistency. Summit Natural Gas of Maine buys gas in therms. In addition, EnergyGuide and Energy Star labels that are on household appliances are also based in therms, making it easier for customers to compare appliances.

Can you take my rebate directly off my monthly gas bill?

Unfortunately, we can’t. The rebate program is independent from Summit Natural Gas of Maine. Rebates are administered and handled through Efficiency Maine. To contact them call 866-276-2463.

Do you offer on-bill financing?

Summit Natural Gas of Maine does not offer any on bill financing. If you are looking for financing option, Efficiency Maine may be able to assist you. To contact Efficiency Maine call 866-276-2463.

How often should I have my heating system checked?

Homeowners should have their furnace or central heating system inspected annually. When heating systems are properly adjusted, the by-product of combustion is water vapor and carbon dioxide — the same things we exhale as we breathe. When a heating system powered by a fossil fuel gets out of adjustment and the system isn’t operating properly, carbon monoxide may be produced. An annual check-up of your heating system by a qualified professional ensures it is operating safely and efficiently with the proper mix of fuel to air.

Do natural gas appliances operate when the power goes off?

With the exception of gas furnaces and clothes dryers, gas appliances keep right on working for you when the electricity is off.

What about outdoor gas lights and gas grills?

A natural gas outdoor light provides year-round soft, natural light for beauty and security even when the power is off. And nothing is faster and easier than cooking on an outside gas grill.

Are gas clothes dryers available?

Yes, Gas clothes dryers dry clothes faster and actually treat your clothes more gently than electric dryers.

What’s the difference between cooking on gas vs. electric?

In a word, control. Professional chefs prefer the instant flexibility of gas cooking for exact, controlled food preparation.

What makes a gas water heater better?

A gas water heater works nearly twice as fast as an electric one, so you’re less likely to run out of hot water.

Sources: Appliance Magazine and Manufacturers Specifications.

Will I have to have my oil burning furnace completely replaced to convert to natural gas?

Some furnaces that are 5 years old or newer may be able to be converted without having to replace the entire unit.

Do you provide rebates to cover some costs to convert to natural gas?

Yes, Summit Natural Gas is providing the highest level of rebates to Kennebec Valley, Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth customers.

Why is natural gas better than other fuels?

Natural gas equipment is easier to maintain and repair, which means lower maintenance costs. Most natural gas equipment lasts longer than similar electric appliances. Natural gas is the most environmentally-friendly fossil fuel.

What should I do if I smell gas?

Natural gas has no odor of its own, so gas companies add an odorant as a safety precaution. The distinctive odor intentionally smells bad to immediately signal a possible gas leak.

  • Don’t turn on a light.
  • Don’t switch on anything electrical.
  • Don’t light a match.
  • Don’t use your phone.
  • Alert others and leave immediately.
  • Call us at 1-800-909-7642 from your neighbor’s house or another location.
  • Tell us where you are so you can let us into your house when we arrive.
  • Most gas leaks are small and aren’t usually dangerous, but don’t try to judge for yourself if a leak is dangerous or not.

What natural gas appliances are available?

Water heaters, hot air and hot water heating systems, space heaters, outdoor grills, gas lights, ranges, ovens, cooktops, dryers, fireplace logs, pool heaters, gas generators.

What are the benefits of a gas furnace?

A gas furnace heats your home with warmer air than that generated by an electric heat pump which makes a home feel drafty. Gas furnaces are less expensive to maintain and last about twice as long as electric heat pumps. An air handling unit can be added for air conditioning.

  • Gas furnace: 125-140 Degrees
  • Electric heat pumps: 90-95 Degrees Sources: Appliance Magazine and Manufacturers Specifications Advantage Home.