To the editor:

An Aug. 6 story highlighted a report on electric utility service prepared by the North Andover town manager’s office.

At National Grid we work hard every day to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to our 1.3 million customers across Massachusetts. Residents and businesses depend on us for the delivery of electricity to power their lives at home, work and in their communities.

In the North Andover region, we have an $8 million, three-year project underway to replace underground cables. We are also conducting a study that includes portions of North Andover which will evaluate and review the reliability of all the assets in the area.

Multiple circuits in North Andover are being proactively inspected and work has begun to replace several at-risk transformers. In addition, we have $250,000 in upgrades planned for some protective devices on our circuits. This work is expected to help diminish the frequency and duration of power outages in the region.

We spend approximately $27 million annually on our vegetation management program, which includes cycle pruning and hazard tree mitigation. We annually prune approximately 2,650 miles, or about 20 percent, of the system’s 13,230 miles.

In North Andover last year, our vegetation management work spanned 42 miles, up from 36 miles in the previous fiscal year.

During 2017, our performance on non-storm days in North Andover was challenged by several factors including increases in the number of fallen trees, interruptions caused by corroding or aging of material, and device failures including damage to cables, transformers and insulators, among others.

These circumstances underscore the daily maintenance and long-term investment needed to move energy from its source to our customer’s door.

We understand outages pose a hardship for our customers, and when service is impacted we work as quickly as we can, while ensuring the safety of our customers, the public and our employees.

We appreciate the feedback from the North Andover community and will incorporate it as we continually enhance our efforts on behalf of our customers and communities.

David Gendall  

Director, Community and Customer Management

National Grid