TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma Natural Gas is asking customers to practice simple energy conservation efforts to reduce their heating bills over the extended winter period.
“Due to the extended duration of historically low temperatures, we are seeing much higher natural gas use and natural gas prices have gone up,” said Kent Shortridge, vice president of operations for Oklahoma Natural Gas. “While we do not markup the price of natural gas, these events will have an impact on customer bills. At this time, we can’t quantify what the impact will be.”
ONG provided the following conservation measures:
- Keep warm, not hot. When possible wear additional layers of clothing, consider turning down your thermostat and check your programmable settings.
- Seal leaks around doors and windows. Apply weatherstripping or caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss. If that is not an option, you can also cover windows with towels, sheets or plastic to help keep the warm air in your house.
- Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or put it on the “warm” setting. If your home will be vacant for two days or more, set the dial to the pilot position for even more savings.
- Close blinds and curtains. This helps keep warm air inside, especially if the sun is not shining.
- Change or clean filters. A clean filter on your furnace can lower your energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Dirty filters cost more to use and overwork the equipment.
- Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry and washing dishes can both use natural gas to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities. If you cannot wait, use the cold setting where possible.
- Install foam gaskets on electrical switches and outlets. Electrical switches and outlets can account for up to 10% of your home’s energy loss.
Additionally, remember these safety tips:
- Never use your stove or oven for home heating.
- Make sure nothing obstructs a furnace’s air intake and that vents and flues are intact and unblocked to avoid the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- When removing ice and snow in the vicinity of meters, vents or flues, do so carefully so as not to cause damage.
- Leave cabinet doors open, especially those on exterior walls, to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
- If you smell a natural gas odor, leave the area immediately then call 911 and 800-458-4251.
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