DALLAS — Atmos Energy sent out a message Tuesday, asking all of its customers and businesses to conserve as much energy as possible.
The Dallas-based natural-gas-only company is one of the nation's largest distributors, serving about three million customers in more than 1,400 communities in nine states.
Demand for natural gas is currently at "unprecedented levels," according to an Atmos Energy spokesperson.
The company is asking people to take these steps in order to save energy:
- Lower thermostat to at least 68 degrees.
- Businesses should minimize energy usage as much as possible.
- Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
- Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.
- Reduce shower time and avoid baths.
- Refrain from using large appliances like a washer, dryer, oven, and dishwasher for the next few days. When in use, limit opening the oven door to prevent wasted energy.
- Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning.
- Avoid using a natural gas fireplace, if possible.
- Do not use a pool heater, instead run a pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing.
Atmos Energy is also asking customers to take these steps to stay safe at home:
- Protect natural gas meters
- Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush.
- Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object.
- Minimize the risk of frozen pipes
- Leave faucets running at a trickle, leave cabinet doors open and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
- If you think you smell gas, act fast
- Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and the Atmos Energy emergency number at 866-322-8667