DAYTON — In anticipation of extreme cold weather returning the week of February 14, Dominion Energy Ohio is asking its customers to voluntarily turn down their thermostats and lower the setting on their water heaters if they can do so safely, and for businesses to reduce the use of natural gas for manufacturing or processing if practicable. Such conservation efforts throughout the coming week will help keep down bills and keep natural gas supplies flowing to all Dominion customers.
“Dominion Energy is prepared to serve our customers reliably during this upcoming period of extreme cold weather, but we also ask customers to conserve where they can do so safely,” said Jim Eck, vice president & general manager, Ohio and West Virginia Distribution.
The simplest way to conserve gas – and save money – is to turn down your thermostat. Customers can save from 10 to 15 percent on annual heating costs by setting the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and down to 58 degrees at night, or when the resident is at work or away for an extended period. A programmable thermostat will automatically raise and lower the settings to a preset schedule and eliminate operating the heating system manually. It’s not recommended to turn the system off, especially on very cold days, because the recovery time may negate any savings realized by the setback.
The company recommends that customers consider using other conservation techniques to maintain comfort and safety, such as saving energy by weather-stripping homes and insulating doors and windows. Customers also can block off draft at the bottoms of doors with a rolled-up throw rug or towel. Use this link to learn about additional savings tips: https://www.dominionenergy.com/our-stories/energy-saving-tips-for-every-season.
Sufficient, Reliable Energy Supplies: Dominion Energy is served by multiple interstate pipelines and has the benefit of Ohio natural gas production and underground gas storage that will play a key role in maintaining gas deliveries to customers over the upcoming extreme cold weather period. As with any gas utility system, there may be isolated areas where the company may experience lower operating pressures, and we are prepared to address such situations if they arise.
Energy Assistance: Colder weather can lead to higher natural gas bills. Dominion Energy strongly urges customers who believe they will not be able to maintain regular payments or service to: log in to www.dominionenergy.com, 24/7; use the Dominion Energy App; or call 1-800-362-7557 between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays, to inquire about energy assistance programs and payment options.
Dominion Energy Provides 24-hour Emergency Service Every Day: Dominion Energy considers it an emergency if customers smell an odor of gas or if none of their natural gas appliances are working. If there is an odor of natural gas in or around the premises, leave the premises and immediately and then call Dominion Energy, toll-free, at 1-877-542-2630.
Keep Metering Equipment and Vents Clear: Although Dominion Energy owns and maintains the gas meter, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide clear access to the meter and associated metering equipment, and to keep it free from obstructions. This includes snow, ice and shrubs.
Snow and ice can damage metering equipment, and it is the customer’s responsibility to keep the metering equipment clear. Ice, icicles or water dripping on the meter could prevent safe and efficient operation of the meter and create a potentially hazardous situation. Icicles should be removed from overhead eaves and gutters to prevent dripping water from splashing and freezing on the metering equipment or appliance vents. Snow or ice can also block the side wall vents of gas appliances; customers must keep those clear as well.
Customers should remove any snow and ice from the meter and/or piping by hand. Care should be taken not to strike or otherwise damage the metering equipment while removing the ice and snow. Likewise, do not plow or pile snow up against or on the gas metering equipment, as well as any of the company’s equipment buildings.
Annual Inspection Helps Provide Maximum Safety, Prevent Carbon Monoxide Issues: Dominion Energy reminds customers that an annual gas heating system inspection — by a qualified, reputable heating contractor — can ensure that they receive maximum winter safety, comfort and efficiency. An annual appliance inspection is the best way to prevent any potential carbon monoxide (CO) problems.
CO detectors provide a second line of defense, but they should not be used as a substitute for an annual furnace inspection. Combined with an annual inspection, however, a single CO detector, placed in the sleeping area of a home, offers additional peace of mind.