“When I came home that evening, I smelled gas very strongly,” Dorothy said.
It’s every homeowner’s nightmare – a gas service line failure. Dorothy, a Houston resident and CenterPoint customer, learned that her gas service line, although only 15 years old, was leaking.
An Unexpected Problem
Jose Carbajo of Texas Quality Plumbing and his crew were quickly onsite, where they assessed the problem. Jose realized the gas service line was PVC, which was no longer up to code in the area.
“We’ll dig, trench, about 50 feet and install new [gas service] line that’s up to code,” Jose said.
Not only had the gas service line not lasted long, but replacing it would cost $3,000. However, Dorothy couldn’t delay, because she would have no gas service to her home until the gas service line was repaired. Leaving it as it was, was unsafe and untenable.
Financial Shock Can Prove a Hardship
Dorothy had experienced a financial shock, or a large, unexpected expense. The effects of a financial shock, such as an unexpected home repair or a sudden loss of income, can be devastating, and the United Nations estimates 40 million Americans are living in poverty. Estimates range from three-in-four to three-in-five Americans who are living from paycheck to paycheck.
Many homeowners are not prepared for a financial shock. However, 60 percent of American households endured one in a calendar year, according to the Pew Trust. Among those who experienced a financial shock, 55 percent of households struggled to make ends meet afterwards.
A Solution Emerges
Luckily for Dorothy, CenterPoint partnered with HomeServe, a leading provider of emergency home repair plans, including gas service lines, electric service lines, water heaters and HVAC systems. When Dorothy received educational materials about the possibility of gas service line failures through the partnership, she signed up for gas service line protection.
“I signed up [for gas service line coverage] in July, I believe, never thinking this would happen, but it did, and I’m very glad that I had it,” she said. “When I called, the agent was very helpful, answered any questions I might have, reassured me that I was covered, which made me very happy. The contractor that HomeServe sent out was very helpful and ready to fix whatever it was.”
Jose and his team installed a new, safe, code compliant gas service line for Dorothy. It didn’t cost her a penny, thanks to CenterPoint and HomeServe.
Utilities are looking for opportunities to connect more deeply with customers. HomeServe helps to improve customer engagement for our utility partners through the integration of complementary home repair programs with utility initiatives such as energy efficiency and safety, offering customers greater access and choice. Partnership allows the utility to leverage HomeServe’s marketing and communications expertise to educate their customers through a variety of channels. For more information, contact us.