A severe cold spell across the United States is straining natural gas supplies, prompting local utility companies to call on its customers to use less natural gas now to ensure adequate supplies in the months ahead.
“We know a typical home’s natural gas use for heating increases, sometimes up to three times more during colder months. SoCalGas is asking our customers to conserve energy to help ensure we have enough natural gas supply to get us through this cold weather,” said Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas.
While there is no imminent threat of disruption of natural gas service, utilities across the region urged consumers to conserve electricity and natural gas, because many local power plants use natural-gas fired turbines to generate electricity.
SoCalGas advises the following energy conservation tips:
Use extra blankets and sweaters to stay warm and lower your furnace thermostat by three to five degrees (health permitting).
SoCalGas also recommends limiting use of non-essential gas appliances, fireplaces and spas, and reducing the temperature and amount of hot water you use. They advise that you turn down the water heater thermostat or insulate your water heater.
Following these tips can also save you up to 30 percent on heating costs, according to a SoCalGas press release.
The company states, however, that consumers should take care not substitute natural gas usage for more dangerous forms of heating, such as heating your home by leaving on the oven, bringing an outdoor grill inside because these appliances are not designed for this purpose and can emit dangerous carbon monoxide, which can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and death.
Symptoms of CO poisoning can include unexplained nausea, headaches, drowsiness, mental confusion and flu-like symptoms. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from CO poisoning, call 911 immediately, advises the utility company. They also recommend installing a CO detector, available at home improvement stores, or changing the batteries in your CO detectors.
For additional conservation tips, visit SoCalGas.com