Winter Storm 2021

The Railroad Commission of Texas – Conservation Recommendations

February 15, 2021

Due to the extreme winter weather conditions across Texas, the Railroad Commission of Texas asks consumers and businesses to reduce their natural gas and energy use as much as safely possible over the next several days. This can be done by taking energy saving conservation measures as appropriate.  Reducing your natural gas use will also reduce the impact of high gas cost on your gas bills.

Energy-saving Measures to Reduce Natural Gas Usage

Given the prolonged, extreme cold, conservation measures should be implemented safely and within reason.

  • 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.
  • Avoid using large appliances (ovens, washing machines, etc.)
  • 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.
  • 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 your natural gas service provider.


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