NORTH READING — National Grid has advised the town that it is conducting a gas regulator replacement program in North Reading. This program is not part of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline that has been so controversial in town. Surveying of gas meters by National Grid began in December with replacement scheduled to occur in the spring of 2015.

According to a press release from National Grid, the delivery of safe, reliable natural gas to the community is their number one priority. Toward that end, National Grid will soon begin a project to identify and replace certain gas regulators within the Greater Lowell area.

What is a regulator and why are some being replaced?

Gas regulators ensure gas is delivered to homes and small businesses at the appropriate pressure. These devices, owned and maintained by National Grid, are usually located on the customer’s property outdoors near the gas meter, but in some cases, they are inside. Though the existing regulators are safe, technology has evolved in recent years to make regulators even safer for customers, so National Grid will install this new, improved equipment.

When will this work begin?

National Grid is currently identifying all regulators that need to be replaced and will simply leave a tag on the regulator to indicate that replacement is warranted. This phase of the project is expected to continue through April 1, 2015.

The utility company asks that customers do not remove or tamper with these tags. These existing regulators are safe and receiving a tag on one’s regulator is not a cause for concern.

What is involved in regulator replacement?

Replacement work will begin in spring/summer 2015. Gas service to the home or business will be interrupted while the utility completes the replacement, which should take two to three hours. Once gas service is restored, a technician will re–light all gas appliances in the home or businesses and check to confirm that everything is in compliance and operating safely.

Because technicians will be required to enter the home or business to relight appliances, it will be necessary for an adult to be present during this time. Customers will be contacted in advance to schedule the replacement appointment.

Who will be visiting homes/businesses to complete this work?

Contractors working on National Grid’s behalf will be working in certain neighborhoods to examine the gas regulators at each home and business. All contractors working on National Grid’s behalf carry photo identification, and they will not enter any premise without permission. For a map of the neighborhoods where contractors will be working, visit the town’s website,

National Grid has arranged for their contractor, Premier, to address any questions or concerns about this project at 1–844–344–0101.