Now that the winter cold has settled in, the state’s largest gas and electric utility is offering tips for customers to energy and money this season while staying safe.
“Natural gas is widely used by New Jersey customers and remains more affordable than many alternatives,” said Brian Clark, vice president, of PSE&G Gas Operations. “In fact, we lowered natural gas rates three times in 2023, keeping our customers’ needs in mind.”
Through its Gas System Modernization Program, PSE&G is also modernizing important infrastructure and enhancing safety by upgrading pipes – with the added benefit of preventing methane leaks and enabling high efficiency appliance usage in homes and businesses.
PSE&G say it is also planning for a future when it intends to use these same pipes to deliver alternative or renewable fuels.
Know how to recognize an overheated or “runaway” boiler, a condition created when a heating unit reaches an exceedingly high temperature and pressure and will not shut off. An overheated boiler is very dangerous to both emergency responders and building occupants. Go to PSE&G’s Overheated Boiler Fact Sheet to learn more.
Other safety and energy-efficiency tips include:
- If you smell a gas odor, immediately exit the building, move at least 350 feet away and call PSE&G at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734) Or call 911.
- Since gas appliances are used more in the winter, it’s particularly important to monitor carbon monoxide levels. Watch these Facts from the Field video tips on getting a carbon monoxide detector and the best way to use your detector. Also, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never run any gasoline-powered generators in a garage or any other enclosed space.
- When cooking or baking, never block the vents in the bottom of your oven by lining them with foil or oven protectors as blocked vents can cause carbon monoxide accumulation. Be aware of signs that your oven needs servicing, including a popping sound when the oven turns on, the smell of gas, and cooking times that take longer than usual.
- When it snows, keep any high-efficiency furnace pipes on the outside of your home clear of snow – otherwise, you may inadvertently allow carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Also, clear chimneys and vents for other gas appliances.
- Accumulation of ice or snow can interfere with the proper operation of your gas metering system. The meter assembly may contain a regulator that is designed to safely release pressurized gas in the event of a malfunction. Blocking the regulator vent could create an unsafe condition where gas is not able to escape from internal piping.
- Snow and ice can damage gas meters and piping. Be careful when removing snow from around the gas meter; any damage to the gas meter could potentially create a possible leak hazard.
- Use a broom to keep the gas meter, pressure regulator, and vent piping clear of snow and ice during the winter season.
- Chimneys and vents should be protected using an approved cap or screen to keep small animals or insects from entering. These pests have been known to build nests inside chimneys or vents and can cause potentially hazardous conditions.
- Inspect and clean dryer vents to ensure they are clear of debris, lint and condensation, which can become a fire hazard especially in the winter when drying heavier clothing and bedding.
- If you’re installing new gas appliances, change the connectors as well to prevent leaks and use safer, more modern materials.
- If you have an old water heater, consider replacing it. You can also place a water sensor near your heating device.
- Do not store propane tanks or any other highly flammable gas/liquid in your home, as they can become extremely hazardous in the event of a fire.
- Downed wires should always be considered “live.” Stay at least 30 feet away from downed lines, and don’t go near the pole or anything touching the line.
- Downed wires can potentially be hidden in standing water and snow. If you encounter large pools of standing water, stop, back up and choose another path.
- If you are on life-sustaining medical equipment, ensure that you alert PSE&G in advance and notify your local police and fire departments. For more information, visit www.pseg.com/life.
- For storm safety tips, see https://nj.pseg.com/safetyandreliability/stormsafety.