Virginia Natural Gas prepared to meet the needs of customers during cold snap
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Feb. 10, 2016 – Virginia Natural Gas is prepared to meet the needs of its customers during the first prolonged cold snap of the year. Due to the chilly forecast, consumers are expected to use more natural gas to heat their homes and businesses.
“Our natural gas distribution systems are designed to accommodate the extreme conditions we expect over the next few days,” said Robert Duvall, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “We are prepared, and remain committed to providing affordable and reliable natural gas to homes and businesses across the region on the coldest days of the year.”
Virginia Natural Gas plans year-round to meet customer demand, and has systematically invested in improvements, such as Hampton Roads Crossing (HRX) pipeline, to meet its commitment.
As customers crank up their thermostats to stay warm and comfortable, Virginia Natural Gas is providing the following safety guidelines associated with natural gas:
- Customers should never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat their homes or businesses.
- Residents should make sure their heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified licensed professional.
- Virginia Natural Gas customers are advised not to use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
- To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace and water heater, and to prevent a potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.
- If customers smell natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present in their home or business, they should immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 or 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
- Residents are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately if anyone in their home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
Detecting Gas Leaks
- If customers smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present, they should immediately leave the affected area and call the 24-hour emergency response line at 877.572.3342 from a safe location.
- Residents should never try to identify the source of a leak themselves.
- If the odor of natural gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellular phone, turn light switches on or off, operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.
- Virginia Natural Gas encourages customers to take advantage of the company’s energy efficiency program, energySMART, which can help them better understand and gain control of how much energy they use, as well as demonstrate where they may find potential energy savings in their home or business
- Customers can complete a free online energy audit that provides a comprehensive report with personalized recommendations for saving energy in their home. Upon completion, customers receive a free energy-savings kit which includes a low-flow massaging showerhead, kitchen faucet aerator and bathroom faucet aerator.
Conservation and Weatherization
- To keep heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system running at peak efficiency and performance, change air filters regularly and have equipment checked annually by a qualified contractor.
- Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, and close curtains at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects from blocking your heating sources.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings. Install insulated gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls to prevent drafts.
- Regulate the heat by using a programmable thermostat.
For more information on natural gas safety, visit https://virginianaturalgas.com/safety and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @VaNaturalGas.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides retail natural gas sales and distribution services to 287,000 customers in southeast Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves more than one million retail customers through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.