Atmos Energy, the largest distributor of natural gas in Texas, has seen record demands for gas due to the extremity of the cold weather in North Texas.
According to Jeff Knights, VP of operations in Dallas, “Our system has performed admirably due to a lot of preparation, and the dedication of our service personnel who have been working around the clock.”
Currently, there have only been a scattered number of customers affected by low pressures attributed to the high demand.
“Just a small number of customers, several hundred out of over one million, have been affected and service personnel have been able to safely restore service in a matter of hours," he said, noting the forecast continues to call for frigid temperatures which means, “We still have challenges ahead of us.”
The fact that schools and many businesses were closed helped reduce demand and other large customers that have the ability to burn alternate fuels have switched over to reduce demand and help in the effort, he said.
The possibility of schools and businesses reopening will add to the record demands, leading to the company to request its customers do what they can to conserve.
“Returning to normally scheduled activities will place additional demand on the system,” Knights said, “so we really want to ask all our customers to make every effort to conserve their natural gas use.”
Atmos Energy provided the following tips to help customer use less natural gas (and lower their gas bills):
• Set thermostats to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep warm by insulating yourself with sweaters and jackets.
• Limit early morning hot water use. Taking showers, doing dishes and laundry in the late afternoon and early evening prevents additional use at the peak wake-up time.
• Limit opening doors, etc. If possible, use the smallest living space you can, and reduce the temperature in unused spaces to 60.
• Close blinds and drapes to keep heat in unless there is direct sunlight available to help warm the space.
Over all, the forecast is positive with weather moderating at the end of the week and customers should expect continuous service. If a customer experiences any problem with their gas service, they should call 1-888-286-6700.
A service professional will be dispatched. The company asks for patience as some response times have been affected due to hazardous driving conditions.