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Hallstrom: Committed to our customers

Change is never easy. That’s why Western Massachusetts Electric Company, its employees, first responders and public safety officials are working together to ensure a smooth transition as we consolidate our service centers in Greenfield and Hadley under one roof by the end of summer. In the meantime, we want to make sure our customers are getting the facts about the reorganization and what it means to them.

Here’s what will never change. WMECO will always put our customers’ safety first. We’re committed to providing excellent customer service and have proven expertise in keeping the power on during blue sky days and getting it back on during even the worst storms.

Our workforce understands the challenges we face here in western Massachusetts, especially in Franklin County, that has its urban centers as well as people who live in remote sections of our service territory. We take pride in our homegrown know-how, training and proven ability to handle whatever type of emergency is thrown our way. We are proud of our workers and know their dedication to our customers is what drives their passion to make sure they’re able to do the job safely and efficiently, knowing that the company supports them every step of the way.

WMECO is continuously working to enhance our service in Franklin County before, during and after the consolidation. We will always be there for our customers.

The decision to consolidate our service centers was not made lightly. Only after careful consideration and research did we arrive at our decision to streamline operations by bringing our workforce together. The building that houses our service center in Greenfield is partially vacant and will be sold. So, by consolidating, we’ll improve efficiency and save our customers money without compromising service.  

Let’s be clear: a service center is where we park and maintain our trucks. It’s where our lineworkers report for duty. Once they get their work orders for the day, they fan-out across the region. The crews will still be performing the same number of jobs, including upgrades, repair work and maintenance across our service territory in Franklin County.

WMECO, like utility companies across the country, has a distributed workforce — which means we allocate our people and our resources and deploy them where they are needed. If there is a storm about to hit, we stage our resources, set up mobile command centers and are ready for any emergency in any part of our service territory. 

Our response to emergencies will not change, with first responders at the ready to assist our customers 24/7 throughout our communities. With a cross-trained workforce, we will continue to be there for all customers regardless of whether they’re served by overhead or underground utilities. We have successfully maintained both types of systems for decades and that, too, will not change.

We are working with our employees to make sure this consolidation is seamless. We will continue monitoring and evaluating the time it takes to respond and restore power safely and make sure those response times meet our tough standards and our customers’ high expectations. 

The excellent service our Greenfield and Franklin County customers have come to expect will continue. WMECO will continue to provide reliable electricity to local homes and businesses with our extraordinary, dedicated workforce. Together we will make this work.

Craig Hallstrom is president of WMECO and NSTAR Electric.

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