East / Regional Reports

New England Utilities Offer ‘FreezeAlarm’ To Snow Birds

October 17, 2001
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New England contractors, do some of your upscale customers head South for the winter? A local utility may help you stay in touch with those customers’ heating systems, and give your customers increased peace of mind.

Narragansett Electric Co. (Providence, RI), Nantucket Electric Company (Nantucket, MA), Granite State Electric Company (Salem, NH), and Massachusetts Electric Company (Northborough, MA) have teamed up with Control Products, Inc., to offer its 460,000 customers a 10% discount on an electronic temperature monitor called FreezeAlarm™.

The alarm monitors the temperature in a home and notifies the homeowner when room temperatures fall below the desired level. It was originally designed for commercial refrigeration products in supermarkets and restaurants. The technology is now available for residential use.

The FreezeAlarm is said to sense when room temperatures fall below a preset level, according to Control Products. The monitor will automatically call up to three telephone numbers of the customer’s choice to warn of a drop in temperature at their remote location. A trusted heating contractor would be a logical number to have programmed in. The device continues to call at regular intervals until it is disarmed by a return phone call, the controls company said.

Through this utility-based offer, three models are available and range in price from $99 to $325. The utility’s customers can receive these products with a 10% discount. Heating contractors can advise their customers of the offer, with a recommendation that the contractor’s phone number be programmed in — especially (or perhaps inclusively) for service-maintenance agreement customers.



ADVANCE NOTICE

According to Chris Berghoff, president of Control Products, Inc., advance notice of an adverse drop in temperature allows customers an opportunity to avoid a situation that could result in damage to their residence.

“FreezeAlarm provides homeowners with protection from winter freeze-ups such as frozen pipes and any subsequent damage, at an affordable price,” he said. “Besides bursting pipes, a freeze-up can destroy furniture, ruin plumbing fixtures, and cause extensive water damage.” He added that the product “takes the worry out of leaving the furnace unattended during winter absences.”

Customers and contractors can learn more about the product by visiting www.narragansett.com; www.granitestateelectric.com; and www.masselectric.com (websites).

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