As Summit Natural Gas of Maine continues to install natural gas infrastructure across southern and central Maine, the company is helping customers find qualified contractors. Recently, one of the state’s largest natural gas conversion contractors, Dave Ireland Builders, LLC, abruptly closed and left many of its customers looking to get their deposits back. To help, Summit Natural Gas of Maine announced it will reimburse Summit customers for conversion service deposits paid to Dave Ireland Builders, LLC, where work remains unfinished.

Although David Ireland was not an employee nor an agent of Summit, Summit stepped in to reimburse Summit customers so that they can move forward with their natural gas conversions as soon as possible.

Customers who are affected have been asked to visit www.SummitNaturalGasMaine.com, where they will find information and details about the reimbursement process, or call Summit Natural Gas at 621-8000 to begin the process.

Ron Cote, manager of trades and conversions for Summit Natural Gas of Maine, has been busy this year helping natural gas customers identify their best energy equipment options and find local contractors, and educate customers on the rebates and incentives that are available. He provided some important tips for customers looking to find a natural gas conversion contractor.

Find out what you need for equipment
Be sure to understand your options. In some cases, customers can make a simple conversion using their current boiler; in other circumstances, depending on your situation, you might decide to have your equipment replaced for maximum efficiency.

Get at least three quotes
Similar to any major home improvement project, it is important to get at least three quotes from contractors so you can compare your options and the information you receive. For a list of contractors and HVAC professionals, visit www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com/how-to-convert.

Make sure you have the quotes in writing
If a contractor gives you a quote, make sure it isn’t a “ballpark” price. The best way to do this is to meet the contractor in person and make sure the contractor provides a full description of services and associated costs in writing.

Most quotes are good for 30 days, so you will want to be prepared to respond in a timely manner. As part of the quote, be sure it includes the payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; and specific materials and products to be used.

Do research on the company
Ask the contractor for a list of 3-5 of their most recent customers. Call those customers to ask about their experience. You also should evaluate your contractors online by visiting their websites and searching for their company name on the Internet to see what others have said about them. You should also ask friends and family for their experiences; one easy way to do this is on social media.

To date, Summit Natural Gas of Maine has installed more than 200 miles of natural gas pipelines across the Kennebec Valley and beyond. In total, more than 7,000 residential and business customers have access to natural gas service from Summit.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine construction crews continue to install miles of gas distribution mains and service lines in central and southern Maine, including current work in Augusta, Fairfield, Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, Madison and Waterville, as well as Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth.

Connect with Summit Natural Gas of Maine
Based on the highest level of interest, Summit is in the process of identifying construction plans for 2015 in its service areas. To learn more about Summit’s service areas or a specific address, businesses and residents should call the company’s Augusta office at 621-8000, visit www.summitnaturalgasmaine.com, or “like” Summit Natural Gas of Maine on Facebook.