AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 17, 2021 – As the colder temperatures continue across the state, Texas Gas Service continues to encourage residents and businesses to conserve their energy usage. The demand for natural gas continues to outpace supply, and it is going to take time for our suppliers to get their natural gas wells back on-line. That’s why it is important to continue to minimize the amount of natural gas that is used.
The actions individuals and businesses make today, such as lowering thermostats, turning down hot water heaters and sealing leaks round doors and windows are making a big difference.
“We are thankful to see the community responding so well to the calls for energy conservation,” said Shantel Norman, vice president of Operations for Texas Gas Service. “Our combined efforts are working, and we appreciate our fellow Texans doing all you can to help the communities across the state as we work to avoid any large outage situations. The key is for us all to remain vigilant and to keep up our efforts throughout this significant weather event.”
Norman noted that if someone has a natural gas furnace and the electricity goes out, the fan that would blow the warm air would not work. In the event of an electrical outage, Texans should turn off their furnace to reduce the natural gas demand of all customer furnaces coming back on at the same time once electric service is restored. The peak surge in natural gas usage can negatively impact the system. Texas Gas Service offers the following tips to stay warm during these rolling energy outages:
Tips to Stay Warm During Rolling Outages
- Use your fireplace safely to keep your house warm. Check that the damper is open.
- Pile on the layers of clothes and use blankets.
- Use towels to block any drafts along doors and windows, or cover windows with plastic or towels.
- Close all curtains and blinds to trap the heat inside.
- Short periods of indoor exercise can warm you up quickly.
- DO NOT use your stove or oven for home heating.
- Use only indoor-approved heating devices and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have flashlights ready to go and extra batteries nearby, if needed.
- Leave cabinet doors open, especially those on exterior walls, to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
- During an electricity outage, please turn off your furnace – either at the thermostat or at the breaker box. Once electricity comes back on, please wait 10-15 minutes, then turn your furnace back on. This will help our natural gas system adjust to the increase in usage.
- As our area experiences rolling electricity outages, please be aware that your furnace or other natural gas appliances may be affected if they have electric ignition. Why? Generally, electronic ignition systems switch the furnace or other natural gas appliance on prior to allowing gas to the appliance. Without electricity, the electric ignition is not operational, and gas will not flow to the appliance until power is restored.
- Make sure to charge phones, computers and any other needed devices when the power is on.
If you smell gas, leave the area immediately, then call 911 and Texas Gas Service at 800-959-5325. We will respond as quickly and as safely as conditions allow.