SIDNEY — To help its natural gas customers stay warm and comfortable during frigid temperatures and heavy snowfalls, Dominion Energy Ohio offers important safety and conservation tips.
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 in case of an emergency.
• Do not plow or pile snow against onto gas metering equipment or any of the company’s buildings.
• Keep metering equipment and vents clear by removing snow and ice from the meter or piping by hand. (Do not strike or otherwise damage the metering equipment). Clear icicles from overhead eaves to prevent dripping water from freezing on the meter. Heavy, wet snow, as well as striking the metering equipment can cause damage.
• Remove snow and ice so it does not block side wall vents of gas appliances, especially high efficiency furnaces that tend to vent to the side of the house.
How to conserve natural gas in extreme cold
“Dominion Energy is able to serve its customers reliably during extreme cold when customers conserve their natural gas use,” said Jim Eck, Dominion Energy vice president & general manager, Ohio & West Virginia Distribution. “Dominion Energy anticipates being able to provide reliable service again for upcoming cold weather, but we also ask customers to conserve where they can do so safely.”
Below are four tips to conserve energy in the winter:
• Set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or as low as is comfortable, during the day.
• Add an extra layer. A sweater and wool socks can add warmth when lowering the thermostat.
• Lower the water heater setting. Set the water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit unless the manufacturer’s guidelines require a higher setting.
• Replace air filters regularly. Dirty air filters increase energy usage, damage the heating system, and compromise air quality.
Energy assistance and payment plans
Cold weather can lead to higher natural gas bills.
Payment assistance options can be accessed 24/7 at https://www.dominionenergy.com/ohio/billing/billing-options-and-assistance or through the Dominion Energy app.
If additional financial assistance is required, contact Dominion Energy at, 1-800-362-7557 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays.
Carbon monoxide and natural gas safety
Prevent carbon monoxide issues with annual safety inspection Dominion Energy Ohio reminds customers that an annual gas heating system inspection is the best way to prevent any potential carbon monoxide problems. Carbon monoxide exposure produces flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion or irritability at low levels and vomiting, drowsiness and loss of consciousness, or even death, at high levels.
Use of a carbon monoxide detector provides a second line of defense, but a malfunctioning appliance can create carbon monoxide gas, which can be deadly.
There are three warning signs that a gas appliance is emitting carbon monoxide long before hazardous levels build up:
1. Excessive, unexplained moisture: If the chimney is blocked, excessive water will accumulate on walls and windows.
2. Soot build-up: Black carbon will accumulate on ceilings and walls, blackening the front of a fireplace and the front door of a furnace.
3. A strong, obnoxious odor: Although carbon monoxide is odorless in its pure form, it is usually associated with aldehydes, which have an odor similar to automobile exhaust.
If customers suspect carbon monoxide, they should:
• Get everyone out of the house and call the fire department or dial 9-1-1.
• Identify and correct the source of the carbon monoxide.
The company considers it an emergency if customers smell an odor of gas or if none of their natural gas appliances are working. (Note, however, that in the event of an electric power outage, natural gas appliances may not work).
When there is a gas odor, Dominion Energy advises customers:
• Do not attempt to locate the gas leak or open windows.
• Do not use telephones or cell phones or turn any electrical switches, appliances or lights on or off, or unplug electrical appliances.
• Do not smoke or use lighters, matches or other open flames.
• Leave the house or building immediately.
• From a neighbor’s home call Dominion Energy Ohio’s 24-hour emergency service at, 1-877-542-2630
About Dominion Energy
About seven million customers in 13 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable and safe energy and to achieving net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050.
Visit DominionEnergy.com to learn about more winter energy savings tips.