Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about what services the company offers? Wondering what your options are to pay your bill? Find your answers, and others, below.

 

My Account

    Berkshire Gas offers several convenient ways to pay your bill.  Select the payment method most convenient for you.  

    Pay Online

    By enrolling in My Account, you can view and pay your Berkshire Gas bill online.

    Make a "One-Time Payment" Online

    You can make a one-time payment using a credit/debit card or your bank account. 

    Mail Your Payment

    Please make your check payable to The Berkshire Gas Company and mail to:

    The Berkshire Gas Company | PO Box 9241 | Chelsea, MA 02150-9236

    Please include your account number on your check or money order and allow sufficient time for your payment to be received and processed by Berkshire Gas.

    Payment Agents

    We have expanded our network of authorized payment centers for your convenience. Our walk-in locations make paying your bill in person convenient, fast, safe and reliable. Our authorized payment agents are conveniently located throughout our service territory and, you'll save time by using the location closest to home. There is a fee to use these locations.

     

    To update your bank and/or credit card information, please perform the following steps:

    1. Please sign-in to My Account and click "Pay"
    2. Select "Payments" from the top menu bar
    3. Scroll and select "View Payment Accounts"
    4. Select "Edit" for your method of payment (Bank/Credit Card)
    5. Edit your payment information accordingly

    Enrolling in My Account allows you to pay your utility bill at no charge using a checking/savings account or credit card. To enroll in My Account, you will need the following information from your bill:

    • Account Number
    • Customer Name Key
      (When entering your Customer Name Key, enter the information in capital letters, exactly as it appears on your bill.  When entering your account number, do not include dashes or spaces)
    • Mailing Address (where the bill is mailed to)

    Once enrolled, you can add additional accounts to your profile and add banking and/or credit card information. If you choose to pay your bill online, you will stop receiving bills in the mail.  Instead, you will receive an email notifying you when your bill is ready.  You can still view and print your current and past bills from My Account.

    If you've forgotten your user id or password, go to the login page for My Account. In the My Account login box (on the left) select the "Forgot User Id" or "Forgot Password" link. You'll be asked to enter information to validate you are the account holder.

    Once your identity has been verified, an email will be sent to your email address with your requested information.

    To setup recurring payments, please perform the following steps:

    1. Please sign-in to My Account and click "Pay"
    2. Select "Payments" from the top menu bar
    3. Scroll and select "View Recurring Payments"
    4. Click "Add Recurring Payments"
    5. Complete the online form to set up your recurring

    Emails are sent instantly; if you have not received the email with your Username yet, check your spam folder.

    If you are not receiving your email notification that your bill is ready, please check your spam/junk folder to ensure your email client is not blocking our email notification.  Also, check that your bill preference setting is set for e-bill, not paper bill.

    To update your payment information, please perform the following steps:

    1. Please sign-in to My Account and click on the “Billing Tab"
    2. Select "Payments" from the top menu bar
    3. Scroll and select "View Payment Accounts"
    4. Delete your method of payment (Bank/Credit Card)
    5. Add your new credit card and/or bank account information

    Please note: Any recurring payment profiles must also be updated to reflect the changes.

    To change your My Account password log in to My Account and click on the "Profile" tab. Select the Change password option, enter your new password and click the update button.

    Please note: Your new password must be at least six characters and use a mix of letters, numbers and characters. Passwords are case sensitive.

    Reset password emails are sent instantly, if you have not received the reset password email yet, check your spam folder.

Safety

    • Get up and get out of the house
    • Don’t strike a match
    • Do not unplug or plug in any electrical devices
    • Don’t switch lights or appliances on or off 
    • Don’t do anything that might create a spark
    • Ventilate the area by leaving the door open when you exit
    • Call Berkshire Gas at 800.292.5012. ­
      • Don’t use a phone or cell phone from within your home ­
      • Call us from outside or from a neighbor’s phone ­
      • Do not assume someone else will report the condition ­
      • Provide the exact location, including cross streets 
    • Let us know if sewer construction or digging activities are going on in the area 
    • Use your senses to detect gas leaks. A natural gas leak is usually recognized by smell, sight, or sound.

    Smell 

    Natural gas is colorless and odorless. For your safety, Mercaptan, a harmless chemical, is added to natural gas to give it a distinctive, pungent odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added so that you’ll recognize it quickly. Not all transmission lines are odorized. Do not ignore the odor of natural gas. Your safety is at stake!

    Sight

    You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust. You may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.

    Sound

    You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing, or whistling.

    Remember, if you smell natural gas, get up, get out and call us immediately from a neighbor’s phone. Berkshire Gas will respond quickly to ensure that you and your family are safe.

     

    Yes. Most natural gas equipment vent from the roof but some vent from other parts of your home, such as the sidewall.  Periodically check outside your home to make sure your furnace, water heater, dryer, or fireplace vents are not blocked by snow and/or ice.

    Snow and ice accumulation may interfere with the operation of natural gas meters and regulators, or may slow access in case of an emergency. Snow removal activities can also pose a hazard to gas meter assemblies or piping, and result in a dangerous leak.

    • Snow should not be pushed or piled around meters.
    • As well, care should be taken in the operation of snow blowers or plows around natural gas meters to avoid damage.
    • Natural gas meters and regulators should be kept clear of snow and ice by using a broom or by hand – not a shovel. 
    • Keep air vents clear so your gas appliances can operate at their greatest efficiency. Sidewall vented equipment should be kept free of snow.

    Should a natural gas meter become encased in ice, or begin to make an unusual noise, customers should contact Berkshire Gas at 800.292.5012.

    If you are planning to dig on your property, notify Dig Safe at least 72 hours (not including holidays) in advance of the scheduled dig date.

    Dig Safe is a statewide program designed to help contractors safely locate all underground utility lines before digging. Damage to underground telephone, gas, electrical or cable TV lines is potentially hazardous and disruptive. State law requires that all such underground lines be located and marked before excavation can begin. Excavation near gas lines should be done with hand tools.

    Please call DIG SAFE at 811. There is no charge for this service. Visit Digsafe.com for more information.

    Go outside! Then, call 911 or your local fire department. Learn More.

    Carbon Monoxide

    Natural gas appliances have an excellent safety record, but you should know what carbon monoxide is and how it may affect you. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is created by the incomplete combustion of all fossil fuels.

    • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. Effects can be lethal.
    • Carbon monoxide (CO) detector requirements became law in Massachusetts on March 31, 2006. Detectors are required on every level of your home and within 10 feet of each sleeping area. They may be battery-operated, plug-in or hard-wired.
    • To find out more, visit Mass.gov.

    Ranges and Ovens

    Don’t use your range or oven to heat your home. These appliances are designed for cooking. Using them as space heaters can generate unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

    Utility Areas

    The utility areas around your gas appliances should be kept clear of clothing, paper, solvents, paint, trash or other Flammable materials that have the potential to ignite if located too close to gas equipment.

Service

    Service requests can be scheduled through our Customer Care Center. Please call us Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 800.292.5012.

    We currently rent both residential and commercial equipment with 24/7 service coverage. Submit an inquiry using our online Berkshire Gas Company's rental form and we will help you make the best decision for your hot water and heating needs. Our staff will make the arrangements necessary to expedite your new equipment. You could also contact us at 888.237.5427.

    Renting a water heater or conversion burner from Berkshire Gas provides the peace of mind our customers expect. For most people, their water heater or home heating system is not often on their mind until the water runs cold or the house is chilled. With a rental water heater or home heating gas burner, there is always someone at the end of the phone to take care of the problem. One affordable monthly payment provides you with: ­

    • 24-hour phone support ­
    • No repair charges
    • Rapid response to shut down leaking heaters or get your home warm again ­
    • The highest quality equipment to reduce repair nuisances and promote fuel efficiency

    It’s easy! Call Berkshire Gas at 888.237.5427 and we will help you make the best decision for your hot water and heating needs. Our staff will make the arrangements.

    No, those are now provided by licensed plumbers and heating contractors. They are typically listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book. Contact a licensed plumbing or heating contractor if you:

    • Have no heat
      • If other gas appliances are not working as well then we will send a technician to determine if there is any problem with gas service to the premise.
    • Require maintenance or repair of your Natural Gas equipment
    • Need Gas Piping installed
    • Need Gas Burning Equipment installed

    Over the last two decades, the demand for natural gas has increased dramatically. However, without new pipeline capacity to deliver additional supplies to our region, demand has out-paced supply. Due to pipeline deliverability constraints, there is currently a moratorium on any new natural gas services in the communities of Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Sunderland and Whately.

    The Company cannot guarantee a customer they can open a gas account on the basis there is a gas service line and/or a gas meter at that location. Before buying a property, you should contact Berkshire Gas at 800.297.7144 to find out if the service line can be transferred or whether your request is within the re-activation period.

    • Yes, if you reside within the Western Division service territory for Berkshire Gas.

    • If you reside within the Eastern Division service territory for Berkshire Gas, you may activate the line if you have used the service line since November 1, 2014.
      • If the gas service is eligible for reactivation, the connected gas equipment cannot exceed the load that was previously used at the location.
    • If you reside within the Eastern Division service territory for Berkshire Gas, and the service line or a gas meter was shut off prior to November 1, 2014, it cannot be reactivated. ­
      • The natural gas demand for that location has been committed to other customers and is no longer available for use at your location.

    No, safe and reliable service is assured for our existing customers. In fact, the moratorium was declared in order to ensure the continuing reliability of service to our existing customers. You may not add to your existing service however during the moratorium.

    Plumbers are only required by regulation to notify Berkshire Gas for large capacity load additions. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to notify Berkshire Gas of any intended new equipment.

Convert to gas

    Even with recent oil price fluctuations, natural gas continues to be the more affordable energy option. Most natural gas used in North America is domestically produced – so it’s not subject to the same swings and spikes seen in world oil markets – making it the more affordable and stable choice for heating your home. Use our easy Energy Calculator to see just how much you could save by making the switch.

    Yes. With natural gas you benefit from both price and efficiency. Whether for the home or business, natural gas is the most efficient choice. So look beyond which energy source costs more (or less) from year to year and do consider system efficiency.

    Natural gas furnaces & boilers are up to 96% efficient. What's more, natural gas boilers maintain high efficiency ratings and offer higher combustion efficiency over time without loss of efficiency due to soot build up inside the boiler as a result of burning oil.

    Unlike the electric grid which consists of wires and poles, natural gas is delivered via underground pipeline that generally is not affected by storms such as Sandy. However, most heating systems require electricity to operate fans, pumps and the distribution of heat so you may want to consider a natural gas generator.

    Further, there is no need for delivery trucks to get through blocked roads or for you to maintain oil tanks in your home.

    Because it burns cleaner and is more efficient, natural gas is better for the environment, and natural gas efficiency programs can save energy and reduce carbon emissions even more.

    With natural gas, there is no need for a storage tank. This allows customers to free-up space in their basements, and for tanks that are underground, costly liabilities can be avoided from tank removal. Most natural gas is produced in North America so there is less dependence on foreign oil.

Smart Energy

    Berkshire Gas provides many programs and incentives to make its natural gas heating customers’ homes and businesses more energy efficient. If you heat your home with natural gas, we’ll help pay for the installation of approved energy-saving measures to increase your home’s energy efficiency, which in turn can save you money. To receive a no-cost home assessment or to learn more about all of the energy efficiency programs available to you, please call, 800.944.3212 or visit our Smart Energy page.

    High-Efficiency Heating and Water Heating Equipment Rebates With generous rebates of up to $3,500 these rebates are designed to promote the installation of high-efficiency natural gas heating and water heating equipment. For a current list of eligible equipment and corresponding rebates, visit MassSave.com, where you can also download a Residential Rebate form or apply online.

    0% Financing Berkshire Gas offers innovative energy efficiency solutions through Mass Save to make our natural gas heating customers' homes more energy efficient. Through the Mass Save Residential HEAT Loan Program, residential customers are eligible to apply for 0% loans up to $25,000 with terms up to seven years. The HEAT Loan is available to help with the cost of installing qualified energy efficient improvements in homes or rental properties. To qualify for the loan, you must obtain a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment and install qualified energy efficiency measures recommended by our representative. For more information visit our Smart Energy page, call  800.944.3212 or visit MassSave.com for program details.

    Berkshire Gas provides many programs and incentives to make its natural gas heating customers’ homes  more energy efficient. If you heat your home with natural gas, we’ll help pay up to 75% towards the installation of approved energy-saving measures like attic and wall insulation to increase your home’s  energy efficiency, which in turn can save you money. To receive a no-cost home assessment or to learn more about all of the energy efficiency programs available to you, available to you, please call, 800.944.3212, visit our Smart Energy page or MassSave.com.

    The Residential New Construction Program provides assistance to Massachusetts residents who are building a new home. The program provides technical assistance and incentives to make a home 15% or more efficient than the efficiency standard of the Massachusetts building code. Please call 800.628.8413 or visit  MassSave.com for more program details.

    More than half of the energy used in your home goes to heating, cooling and hot water. So making smart decisions about these systems in your home can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. We offer several solutions and rebates to help you find and install the high-efficiency energy equipment that is right for you.

    High-Efficiency Heating and Water Heating Equipment Rebates — With generous rebates of up to $3,500 these rebates are designed to promote the installation of high-efficiency natural gas heating and water heating equipment. For a current list of eligible equipment and corresponding rebates, visit MassSave.com, where you can also download a Residential Rebate form or apply online

    If you are a renter or landlord, you also may qualify to receive upgrades, as well as even greater incentives to replace old and inefficient refrigerators, clothes washers and boilers. In addition, two-to-four family homes may be eligible for an incentive of 90% of the cost of insulation for the entire property, up to $3,000 per unit. Learn more by visiting MassSave.com or calling 800.944.3212.

    It’s easy to reduce your energy use and save money by starting with no-cost and low-cost changes. Getting started is as simple as adopting a few new habits and making time for quick and easy projects around the house.

    Find ways to save on energy costs and create an energy profile for your home and/or business with our online bill analysis, where you analyze and graph your energy usage and see what impacts your bill monthly.

    Use the Online Home Audit Tool Create your home energy profile in less than five minutes and get personalized energy saving recommendations, an estimate of potential savings, and cost-effective upgrade advice. Your customized results will also provide you with available incentives that will help you save energy and money. Visit MassSave.com to use the tool.

Moratorium

    The moratorium is based on the need for additional gas supply resources to serve Eastern Division communities. The moratorium will remain in place until those resources can be made available.

    Service to existing customers will continue in a safe and reliable manner without interruption. New or additional service will not be offered until additional natural gas supply resources become available.

    At the conclusion of the 2013/2014 heating season, the Company conducted a winter operations review and supply analysis to assess remaining available capacity on the lateral pipeline serving the Company’s Eastern Division. This review allowed us to assess actual demand against system capacity. Only after this review was completed, was the Company in a position to determine when the moratorium would be necessary. The Company first started making local elected officials aware of the pending moratorium in mid-2014.

    The presence of a meter has no bearing on the availability of natural gas at your location. Natural gas availability for your location has been allocated based on your historical usage. Due to the moratorium, no additional volumes of natural gas are available for expanding usage beyond what you are currently using. Once the moratorium is lifted, we will be happy to work with you to assess the availability of additional natural gas for your use. Adding load without authorization may jeopardize your gas service.

    Yes, if you have used the service line since November 1, 2014, it may be reactivated. If the service line or a gas meter was shut off prior to November 1, 2014, it cannot be reactivated. The natural gas demand for that location has been committed to other customers and is no longer available for use at your location. If the gas service is eligible for reactivation, the connected gas equipment cannot exceed the load that was previously used at the location.

    You cannot assume that you will be guaranteed a gas account just because there is a gas service line and/or a gas meter at that location. Before buying a property, you should contact Berkshire Gas at 413.445.0211 to find out if the service line can be transferred or whether your request is within the re-activation period.

    No, safe and reliable service is assured for our existing customers. In fact, the moratorium was declared in order to ensure the continuing reliability of service to our existing customers. You may not add to your existing service however during the moratorium.

    No. A moratorium has been invoked across the board in the Company’s Eastern Division. This means that no additional volumes of natural gas (new or incremental) are available at any location, for any purpose regardless of the need or merits.

    The pipeline serving Franklin and Hampshire Counties is operating at, or near, full capacity. As such, we cannot add any additional demand or usage on our distribution system. The natural gas needed for your current heating purposes has been allocated and is available for your continued use, regardless of the moratorium.

    No, generators cannot be installed during the moratorium.

    Due to severely constrained deliverability in Franklin and Hampshire Counties, we are unable to commit to delivering any volumes of natural gas beyond those currently used by our existing customers. While backup generators may in fact operate during a period of reduced demand, there are any number of circumstances during which they could come online during a period of normal, or even peak demand. That is a risk to our customers that we quite simply cannot take.

    Yes, as long as the load (input BTU’s) is the same as, or less than, the current load. Please contact the Berkshire Gas Energy Efficiency Department at 800.944.3212 to discuss your plans, as they may be able to assist you with this and potentially provide some financial incentive for updating your equipment.

    Plumbers are only required by regulation to notify Berkshire Gas for large capacity load additions. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to notify Berkshire Gas of any intended new equipment.

    System evaluations are performed to assess the ability to provide the necessary pressure and volumes at a specific location for a specific load demand. During the moratorium, no equipment can be added due to pipeline constraints.

    If new natural gas burning equipment is installed during the moratorium, your natural gas service could be subject to outage or interruption if our distribution system pressures prove to be insufficient to meet the added demand. Unauthorized load increases are found through the automated meter reading system. Installing new equipment without a permit will result in a red tag of the equipment and a notification to the local inspection department. Plumbers or gas fitters performing work without a permit are subject to fines, penalties and sanctions by the Massachusetts Plumbing and Gas Board.

    No, despite the overall reduction in natural gas used by on demand water heaters, the demand surge of an on-demand water heater at start up is 400% greater than that of a tank type water heater. Such a surge could negatively impact pressures on our distribution system and cause an outage or service interruption.

    No, the volumes of natural gas used for home heating are typically significantly greater than those for cooking. We will only consider swapping an appliance for another “like” appliance.

    No. By necessity a moratorium on new or added natural gas use is an “across the board” moratorium.

    Yes, this is possible with the required approvals. Your plumber will need to file for a gas permit. Along with that permit, you will need a letter of permission from Berkshire Gas AND your local propane supplier. Please contact Gas Field Operations at 413.445.0211 for a dual fuel permission letter from Berkshire Gas.

    This can only occur if the location has been in service at some point since November 1, 2014.

    The availability of natural gas is based on your having an active meter/service prior to November 1, 2014. If a service has been inactive for more than 5 years, or 10 years if the service is plastic, it will be retired per Massachusetts regulation (220 CMR 107.05).

    Berkshire Gas continues to diligently assess all practical options for resolving the moratorium and hopes to conclude this study during the current calendar year. 

    It is difficult to say when, or if, the moratorium will ultimately be lifted. In a best-case scenario, the moratorium will remain for at least the next two years.