Historically low temperatures will continue for several days, and Atmos Energy is focused on providing safe and reliable service to its most critical customers including homes, hospitals, churches, and other human needs organizations. Industrial customers who have been asked to curtail their natural gas usage are urged to comply, and we can all help by taking small steps to support our community.
Take these steps to reduce energy usage now:
- Lower your thermostat to at least 68 degrees. Consider wearing additional layers of clothing and turning down the thermostat even lower.
- Businesses should minimize energy usage as much as possible.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees, because it can account for as much as 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use. By conserving electricity, you are also helping to conserve natural gas which keeps the power on.
- Reduce shower time and avoid baths. Showering accounts for about 40 percent of your home’s hot water use.
- Refrain from using large appliances like your washer, dryer, oven, and dishwasher for the next few days. When in use, limit opening the oven door to prevent wasted energy.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Leaving the damper open is like keeping a window wide open – warm air goes right up the chimney!
- If you have a pool, do not use the pool heater. Instead, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing.
Atmos Energy reminds customers to heed the guidance of local leaders and stay alert to changing weather conditions in their area. Our teams are working to provide safe and reliable service, and we appreciate your patience during this historic weather event. In addition to reduced energy usage, please remember these ways to stay safe at home:
- Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
- Protect natural gas meters. Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush. Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object.
- Minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Leave faucets running at a trickle, leave cabinet doors open, and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
- If you think you smell gas, act fast! Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and the Atmos Energy emergency number at 866.322.8667.
Remove Snow Buildup from Gas Meters, Pipes, and Vents
Snow and ice buildup can damage gas meters and pipes and make them difficult to reach in an emergency. Blocked vents for dryers and other gas appliances can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
To help keep your home and family safe during snowy or icy weather:
- Remove snow and ice buildup from meters and pipes.
- Make sure that external vents for dryers and other natural gas equipment are clear.
- Remove snow and ice safely by gently using a broom or brush. Do not use ice-melting chemicals, salt, shovels, or sharp-edged tools.
- Make sure the meter is visible to snowplow drivers if it is near a street or sidewalk.
- If you remove snow off the roof, be sure it doesn’t land on or bury the meter.
- Repair leaky eves that could drip water onto the meter and freeze.
Stay Safe in Severe Weather
We want you and your family always to be safe. If your home or business is affected by flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes or a similar event, here’s what to do with your natural gas systems and equipment: