MINNEAPOLIS – February 11, 2014 –As Minnesotans experience snow and ice accumulation, CenterPoint Energy would like to remind the public of important tips to stay safe, prevent service interruption and ensure proper meter operation. Snow and ice accumulation on or near the natural gas meter set or above a meter set on a roof can cause potentially dangerous conditions including natural gas buildup in homes and businesses and service disruptions. Accumulations of snow and ice can affect proper operation or ventilation of the regulator. Regulators are designed to maintain a constant pressure, ensure safe delivery of natural gas and vent natural gas safely to the atmosphere. Snow can block vents and freeze the meter causing improper operation. Thawing snow or ice dams from rooftops above the meter should be kept clear to prevent the dam from falling on the meter set. Additionally, customers should maintain a clear path to the meter set to provide easy access to the natural gas meter.
CenterPoint Energy would also like to remind the public of important winter natural gas safety tips:
• Keep the meter area and a path to the meter clear of snow and debris.
• Do not deposit snow piles on or near the meter.
• Do not use a snow blower or shovel near the meter or attempt to remove ice from the meter yourself. You can use a broom to keep the snow cleared around and on top of the meter and piping.
• Call 612-321-5200 or 1-800-296-9815 if there is ice on the meter, or one or more of the following conditions exist:
• Snow or ice formations are visible above the meter.
• Meter is located below a downspout.
• Overhang or eave does not fully extend over the meter.
• Meter is located below a roof valley without a gutter.
• Meter is located below an exterior water spout.
• If you suspect you have a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same.
• Do not drive into or near a gas leak or vapor cloud.
• Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), or anything that could cause a spark.
• Once safely away from the area, call the CenterPoint Energy emergency gas leak hot line at 1-800-296-9815 and 911 to report the location and description of the leak and CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician immediately.
For more natural gas safety tips, visit our website at CenterPointEnergy.com/besafe.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and competitive natural gas sales and services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The company also owns a 58.3 percent limited partner interest in a
midstream partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp. with operations in major
natural gas and liquids-rich producing areas of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. With more than 8,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.