Severe Cold

For answers to you cold weather questions, please visit our Cold Weather Questions page

Update- 2/22/2021 6:00 p.m.

As of today, Feb. 22, customers can return to normal natural gas usage. We want to thank our customers for their conservation efforts that helped us avoid widespread outages during the extreme weather event. Although customers may return to their normal usage habits, reducing their natural gas usage will help minimize the increases to their bill. We encourage you to follow the conservation tips that we’ve been communicating throughout this extreme weather event.

Impact on Customer Bills

  • Due to the unprecedented, historically low temperatures for an extended period, we saw much higher natural gas use and a significant increase in natural gas market prices. 
  • While we do not markup the price of natural gas, these events will have an impact on customer bills. At this time, we cannot quantify what the impact will be.
  • Texas Gas Service does not set the market price for natural gas. Texas Gas Service purchases the gas from suppliers and then delivers it to customer homes. The customer’s bill includes both the cost for our service to deliver it to the customer’s home or business and the cost of the gas used. The price we pay the suppliers for gas is the price customers pay. There is no markup.
  • We will be working with the the Railroad Commission of Texas on options related to the impact to customer bills associated with the current price spikes in natural gas. 
  • Our annual gas supply plan includes some purchases on the spot market.
  • We pass through the cost of gas to our customers. We do not set the price nor mark up the price we pay for the gas. What the customer sees on their bill, the Cost of Gas (COG) Factor, changes monthly to reflect charges by natural gas suppliers and transporters. We have a monthly filing with the commission that includes these costs of gas and results in the COG Factor.
  • We will work with every customer to help them find alternatives for paying their bill. There are a number of payment options and resources that we offer customers who are having financial difficulty. While we don’t know the details of the impact from this winter storm yet, we will commit to doing what we can to help our customers.
  • One thing the customer can do right now to minimize the amount of their bill, is to follow the conservation tips that we’ve been communicating throughout this winter storm.
Update- 2/17/2021 11:15 a.m.

In the event of an electrical outage, turn off power to the furnace to reduce the natural gas demand of all furnaces coming back on at the same time. The peak surge in natural gas usage can negatively impact the system. 

Furnace Tips 


Update- 2/16/2021 8:00 p.m.

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 online. That’s why it is so important for everyone to continue to minimize the amount of natural gas they are using.

We really appreciate the efforts of our large industrial customers and commercial businesses who are doing all they can to reduce their usage. We want to commend them for helping us and continuing to reduce their usage.

We are at a critical point that we need to keep that effort going and have our residential customers do the same.

We are thankful to see the community responding so well to the calls for energy conservation. And, it is working thus far. We appreciate our fellow Texans doing all they can to help our community. The key is for us all to remain vigilant and keep it up throughout this significant weather event. It will take all of us to avoid a large outage situation. 

The small actions you can take could result in big impacts as more and more people do them. Such as lowering your thermostats, turning down your hot water heater and sealing leaks around doors and windows. 

Our employees continue to work around the clock and we are positioning them at critical locations in preparation for any service outages our modeling may indicate. 

Thank you again for conserving and helping us keep our community safe and warm. PLEASE continue to do so as it can make a big difference on whether we can continue to serve our customers.


Update- 2/15/2021 6:15 p.m.

  • As of this morning, our suppliers of natural gas are experiencing freezing gas wells due to the duration of the extreme cold. This is impacting the amount of gas they are able to provide to us.
  • We want to make the public aware that, as a result, we could see widespread outages across our service territory. This means customers could lose gas service to their homes and businesses.
  • When one of our gas suppliers goes down, and we lose service, it will take an extended length of time to get your service restored. Once the system is operating again, we need to visit each home to check for leaks and reestablish gas service. This makes the need for energy conservation even more important.
  • We are asking everyone to please reduce your natural gas usage in your home or business and use as little as possible until further notice. If we all do our part, it can help reduce the number of people who could lose their natural gas service in these extremely cold conditions. We need your help to keep our community safe and warm.
  • Based on past experiences, when temperatures fall to these levels, there can be disruptions in the amount of natural gas received from our suppliers and in our distribution network.
  • Following our regulatory obligations under our curtailment plan, an initial critical step is to take measures to seek assistance from our large industrial, commercial and transport customers to help avoid disruptions.
  • By following these initial steps of the curtailment plan and conserving the use of natural gas, each customer will help us maintain service during this cold weather event.
  • We are planning for shortages and putting measures in place to keep gas service to our customers and critical facilities. Our large-use customers play an important and pivotal role in helping the community avert a disruption in service.
As always, if you smell gas, leave the area immediately, then call 911 and call 800-959-5325. We will respond as quickly and as safely as conditions allow.   


Update- 2/15/2021 11:30 a.m.

Tips to Stay Warm During Rolling Outages

  • Use your fireplace safely to keep your house warm. Check that the damper is open. 
  • The more people in one room, the warmer it will be. 
  • Pile on the layers of clothes.
  • Pile up the blankets.
  • Use towels to block any drafts along doors and windows. 
  • 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. 
  • Never 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.
  • Pull out your sleeping bags.
  • Leave cabinet doors open, especially those on exterior walls, to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. 


  • During the electricity outage, we ask that you turn off your furnace. Once power comes back on, please wait 10 minutes, then restart your furnace. This will help our natural gas system adjust to the increase in usage.
  • As our area experiences intermittent power outages, please be aware that your furnace or other natural gas appliances may be impacted 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. 


Update- 2/14/2021 6:45 p.m.

New Cold Weather Questions Page

For answers to questions surrounding this historic severe weather storm, we’ve created a new page to hear from Kent Shortridge, managing vice president of operations, on what to expect, what you can do and what our team is doing to deliver natural gas to you safely. Visit


Updated- 2/13/2021 7:30 p.m.

  • We are continuously monitoring our pipeline systems and have additional staff working through the weekend and through the duration of the winter storm. 
  • Due to the unprecedented, historically low temperatures for an extended period, we are seeing much higher natural gas use and a significant surge in natural gas market prices. While we do not markup the price of natural gas, these events will have an impact on customer bills. At this time, we cannot quantify what the impact will be.
  • We are asking businesses and manufacturing plants in Austin, Texas to reduce their gas usage to the lowest safe operating level at 9 a.m. Sunday.
  • For our residential customers, we are asking everyone to conserve their energy use with these tips:
    • Keep warm, not hot : When possible wear additional layers of clothing, consider turning down your thermostat and check your programmable settings.
    • Seal leaks around doors and windows: Apply weatherstripping or caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss. If that is not an option, you can also cover windows with towels, sheets or plastic to help keep the warm air in your house.
    • Reduce the temperature on your water heater: Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or put it on the “warm” setting. If your home will be vacant for two days or more, set the dial to the pilot position for even more savings.
    • Close blinds and curtains: This helps keep warm air inside, especially if the sun is not shining.
    • Change or clean filters: A clean filter on your furnace can lower your energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Dirty filters cost more to use and overwork the equipment.
    • Hold off on doing chores: Doing laundry and washing dishes can both use natural gas to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities. If you cannot wait, use the cold setting where possible.
    • Install foam gaskets on electrical switches and outlets: Electrical switches and outlets can account for up to 10% of your home’s energy loss.
  • Additionally, remember these safety tips:
    • Never use your stove or oven for home heating.
    • Make sure nothing obstructs a furnace’s air intake and that vents and flues are intact and unblocked to avoid the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning.   
    • When removing ice and snow in the vicinity of meters, vents or flues, do so carefully so as not to cause damage.
    • Leave cabinet doors open, especially those on exterior walls, to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
    • Call if you smell a natural gas odor, leave the area immediately and then call 911 and 800-959-5325.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

If your natural gas appliance is not operating efficiently or vented properly, carbon monoxide can be produced. Carbon monoxide, also called CO, is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can make you sick and, in some circumstances, may be deadly. Carbon monoxide is created by the incomplete or improper burning of fuel. Learn to recognize the following symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

  • Yellow flame instead of a blue flame on appliance burners 
  • Black soot around vents, flues, furnace filters, burners or appliance access openings 
  • Headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, fatigue, increased perspiration, nausea, weakness and vomiting 

Helpful CO Prevention Tips 

  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector, available at most retail and hardware stores. 
  • Pay attention to the color of the flame on your natural gas appliances – a yellow flame instead of a blue flame is a potential warning sign that the appliance is not operating or venting properly. 
  • Never use a natural gas range or outdoor space heater to heat your home.  
  • Check for proper ventilation of your appliances and chimney flues. 
  • Maintenance is key! Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly and have a qualified contractor inspect your heating equipment and natural gas appliances annually. 

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately leave the building you are in and get outside to fresh air. Then call 911 or call your local fire or police department and if necessary, request medical assistance. 

  • Do not re-enter the building until it has been determined safe by emergency response personnel. 
  • Immediately seek medical assistance for any symptoms, even those you think are minor. 

To report a natural gas odor or emergency, leave the area immediately and then call 911 and 800-959-5325.