As some of the worst winter weather of a generation sweeps across the country, energy providers from your local electric company to your local gas company are working hard to keep services up and running. Unfortunately, when Mother Nature deals a hand like the one we are seeing in the Southwest, with frigid temperatures well below the norm, customers can put extra demand on the system.
Power companies are also utilizing more natural gas than normal to meet their electric demands. All of which can lead to the situation we are seeing now. When demand for natural gas exceeds the resources available in the pipe, key factors like pipeline pressure are affected and the results can be customers being shut down.
It’s important to note that this is a rare occurrence as the nation’s pipeline system is one of the most reliable in the world. But safety is the top priority, so customers must be shut down when this does occur – it’s a safety protocol.
Natural gas utilities are doing everything they can to get more natural gas into the lines and ensure that folks have the gas they need to stay safe and warm. Part of this process will require customers who have been shut off to be safely re-lit by their natural gas utility.
To that end, the natural gas utility will need to gain access to affected homes or buildings in order to re-light customers. Customers who are away from their home for an extended period, due to vacation or for other reasons, should contact their utility directly to see what arrangements can be made to restore service.
Safety is always the first priority, and the customers affected should follow the lead of their local natural gas company. In no instance, should anyone seek to re-light any natural gas appliances themselves.