PRINCETON — CenterPoint Energy issued an appeal Tuesday for natural gas customers in Gibson and neighboring counties to lower thermostats to conserve energy during extreme cold temperatures this week.
“Due to high heating demand in response to the extremely cold temperatures, CenterPoint Energy is asking its Indiana South natural gas customers to temporarily lower their thermostat settings to help conserve natural gas,” the company reported in a news release.
“We are not currently in an emergency situation, but we ask for our customers’ assistance in curbing their natural gas usage so that we can continue to provide reliable service and prevent any disruptions,” said Richard Leger, Vice President, Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio.
The utility wants customers who can, to reduce thermostat settings to 60-65 degrees during the day when at home, and and lower the setting another 5 to 10 degrees when asleep or away from home, through Friday morning.
Gas utilities in several neighboring states are issuing similar appeals.
CenterPoint suggests setting a lower hot water heater temperature and limit use of hot water, opening blinds and shades to take advantage of the sun’s natural heat during the day and closing shades and blinds at night to reduce heat loss through windows.
The National Weather Service at Paducah, Kentucky, forecasts highs in the low to mid 20s and low temperatures in single digits Thursday and Friday night in Gibson County. There’s a 50% chance of more snow Wednesday, and 20% chance of snow Thursday.
Monday’s snowfall of up to nine inches in portions of the county was accompanied by wind gusts that caused drifting in many areas, closing some businesses and local government offices Tuesday.
Power outages to about 350 Duke Energy customers Monday were restored that evening.
Snow plows were busy on city streets and county roads, but slick driving conditions prompted the county’s school corporations to cancel classes again Wednesday.
Indiana Homeland Security lists Gibson County among counties issuing a travel watch, meaning that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
The U.S. Postal service appealed to customers to clear snow and ice from pathways and mailboxes, and residents who receive curbside mail delivery to keep the approach to and from the mailbox clear of snow.