Environmental Systems Associates
BGE Marketing & Energy Services
Howard County Inspections
The extension of gas mains by the local utility company has given many heat pump and oil customers the choice to convert to heating and cooking with natural gas. Both economic and comfort issues influence the decision to convert to natural gas. It is sometimes difficult to answer the economic issues as the price of natural gas versus electricity are difficult to calculate and future energy prices impossible to predict. Most people would agree that heating with natural gas, which has higher output temperatures, offers improved comfort over many of today's heat pump systems.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to convert, the first step is always the same—ensure that natural gas is available at your address. With our extensive experience in gas conversions in Howard County, we can often tell you over the phone if it is available in your neighborhood. You may also contact BGE's Marketing and Energy Services Division (1-800-786-2000).
The second step is to get a free on-site evaluation from a licensed HVAC contractor. Usually, the question is not as simple as "Can we get gas to your new appliance?" There are installation requirements from the manufacturer and the local Building Code officials that may make your conversion impractical. Environmental Systems Associates will provide this evaluation free of charge. After a site visit, we will prepare a written proposal that will include the scope of work (including equipment recommendations) that needs to be done, options to be considered, warranties, and terms of payment. If there are any questions regarding the proposal, we encourage you to call and ask for clarifications. We take pride in being a "No Surprises" company and will complete the work at the agreed upon price.
The next step is to obtain permits—our responsibility!
When you are ready to begin the actual installation, you must apply to BGE for gas service. This is your responsibility!
The installation begins with the interior gas piping. This process usually takes about two hours.
After the interior piping is completed, we will schedule an inspection with the Howard County Inspections Office. You do not need to be home for this inspection. An inspector will come to check the pressure guage on the outside of your home. The inspector will fax the results of the inspection to BGE.
If the guage on the outside passes inspection and if BGE has your completed application for gas service on file, they will schedule the installation of the gas piping from the street to the meter connection on your home. BGE may request that you be home so they can verify that the interior piping is capped properly. BGE will contact you directly to schedule this part of the installation.
After the completion of BGE's work, we will schedule the installation of the new HVAC equipment. While the actual equipment installation usually takes only one day, it may take a longer period of time to get it into our work schedule, so it is important to stay in communication about the progress of all invloved parties. When we come out to install the equipment we will also start up any new gas appliances such as water heaters, stoves, and gas fireplaces that you have installed.
After the installation, we will arrange the final Howard County inspection to certify that all pertinent building codes were met. The inspector will need access to the inside of your home for this inspection. Inspections are scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.