Jun. 28—WATERTOWN — National Grid is reminding its customers to verify the identity of any company representative who visits or calls their home.
The reminder comes as door-to-door solicitation from National Grid company alternatives continues to ramp up.
In 1996, New York state deregulated its energy markets, allowing utility customers to purchase their electricity and natural gas supply from alternate suppliers, a news release from National Grid stated on Tuesday. The state Department of Public Service maintains a list of authorized energy service companies, also known as ESCOs, operating by region. There are more than 200 ESCOs licensed to operate in New York. ESCOs are known to use door-to-door solicitation and phone sales and marketing tactics to recruit new customers.
"National Grid never engages in door-to-door solicitation and ESCO employees are not affiliated with us," the news release stated.
If an ESCO representative visits a home, National Grid advises to verify their name and company by asking to see their identification. ESCO employees must wear a photo identification card with visible logo. National Grid advises consumers to not confuse the ESCO employee with National Grid employees. ESCO employees do not work for National Grid and cannot claim to work for the company or any other utility. National Grid employees wear identification badges with their photo and the company's logo.
The company advises not to provide your utility account number or a copy of your utility bill to an ESCO representative unless you are interested in their services and are ready to receive an offer. Do not sign any document until you review its terms, National Grid says, including the length of the agreement, explanation of how rates are calculated, how you can contact their customer service, how you will be billed and conditions of terminating the agreement.
"National Grid will not ask for customer account numbers when visiting a home or contacting you by phone," the release stated. "When National Grid staff does come to your home or business, they will wear identification badges featuring their photo and our company logo. Most, though not all, will arrive in a clearly-marked National Grid vehicle. If you have reason to doubt the person at your home is a National Grid employee, ask for their name, request that they wait outside, and call National Grid to verify their identity."
The Upstate New York National Grid Number is 800-642-4272.
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