Though not quite the deal-killer of the expanded flood zones in 2014, the moratorium on new natural gas hookups from Dennis to Eastham is having an impact on the purchase of Cape Cod residential real estate. What was once a standard option of switching from oil heat to natural gas, is now on hold indefinitely for the mid-Cape.
National Grid took Cape Cod officials by surprise late last year when it announced an immediate halt to expanded service of natural gas due to inadequate capacity in its 21 miles of gas main.
Workers lowered the pressure from 200 pounds per square inch to 125 to preserve the supply for the existing 100,000 commercial and residential customers.
Since that initial announcement, National Grid relaxed restrictions in Barnstable and Yarmouth only, allowing review of new natural gas applications in a process that currently takes four to six weeks but is expected to be trimmed down to one week. However from Dennis to Eastham, no new connections, conversions or upgrades are allowed for an indefinite period. The utility estimates it could be five to seven years before repairs to the existing gas main are completed and applications are accepted again. National Grid officials state they will reassess the capacity each year and adjust accordingly.
Here are some FAQs, as gleaned by the Cape and Islands Association of Realtors through conversations with National Grid and the company's website:
National Gas Moratorium on Cape Cod
For more information about what is and is not allowed under the new moratorium, contact National Grid's Kelly Doyle at 781-907-2201.