Nicor Gas Prepares for Cold Weather

By Brianna Rodriguez, Managing Editor

As the Polar Vortex causes temperatures to drop, companies like Nicor Gas work around the clock to provide its customers with consistent service to keep homes warm and cozy.

Nicor Gas prepares every year for instances like a Polar Vortex, so the company can continue to provide natural gas to their 2.2 million customers in Chicagoland and surrounding areas.

Each year, Nicor Gas prepares for a cold winter by storing natural gas in the company’s 8 storage units. These units are filled during the months where natural gas prices are at its lowest. This gas is then used mostly during winter months when it is most needed and passes on the savings to customers.

As the weather shifts, system surveillance increases while routine construction projects may be delayed allowing staffing resources to shift for emergency responses, as the business of heat delivery during a Polar Vortex is a year-round operation

During the 2019 Polar Vortex, Nicor Gas employees worked to deliver a record breaking 4.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas in a single day during to its 2.2 million customers. More than 7,000 customers calls were received at the customer contact center and field operations responded to nearly 1,500 emergency calls for service during the two days of the most extreme subzero weather in January 2019 – throughout it all, there were no major service outages during the weather event.

“We have our gas lines ready for our customers year-round,” said Dan Fox, VP system operations, “We’re monitoring systems very closely, providing safe and reliable service to our customers each day of the year.”

Fox highlights good practice to customers and to be aware of the safety alerts in order to help maintain consistent gas service. He emphasizes clearing away any snow or ice from meters and to alert Nicor Gas if there are any fallen power lines or damage in the area.

“It’s the highest priority to us to maintain service to all of our families and our communities,” Fox said. “We want to make sure that they’re warm and comfortable and can keep their families nice and safe with the energy we provide on a yearly basis. Especially during the cold weather.”

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