By City News Service
A nationwide cold snap is increasing demand on natural gas supplies, and Southern California utility companies asked customers today to scrimp on energy where possible for the rest of this week.
While there is no imminent threat of disruption of natural gas service, utilities across the region urged consumers to conserve electricity and natural gas, because many local power plants use natural-gas fired turbines to generate electricity.
The utilities suggested:
-- lowering your thermostat by 3-5 degrees, health permitting;
-- limiting use of non-essential gas appliances, fireplaces and spas;
-- reducing hot water usage;
-- turning down the thermostat on your water heater or insulating it; and
-- using LED holiday lighting instead of incandescent lighting, which can use up to 70 percent more electricity, and installing a timer to turn lights on and off.
People with natural-gas fired heating systems should also be on guard against carbon monoxide poisoning, which is typically caused by poorly vented furnaces or incomplete combustion. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include nausea, headaches, drowsiness, confusion and flu-like symptoms. Alarms are available at home improvement stores.
Avoid using ovens, ranges and outdoor grills for heating. They can emit carbon dioxide and present a fire hazard.