Huron, S.D. - Dec. 19, 2012 - NorthWestern Energy is encouraging customers to perform a visual inspection of their business or home's natural gas meters to ensure that the meter is not covered by snow or ice.
"Ice or snow build up on a natural gas meter can cause damage or cause it to malfunction and can pose a potential for danger. Customers should ensure that snow and ice built up on a roof will not fall on to a meter or piping," said Mike Sydow - South Dakota and Nebraska General Manager of Operations. "Natural gas meters require open air in order to operate properly and safely, so while you clear snow from your property, also remember to carefully clean snow and ice from your natural gas meter."
The company also reminds customers to clear snow away from natural gas and electric meters cautiously to ensure the proper function of these devices, and to clear a path to the meters in the event a first responder would need emergency access to shutoff points.
Customers may also want to inspect their furnace's exhaust venting to ensure that it is clear of ice build-up or is not covered by snow. An external vent that is blocked can prevent the natural flow of deadly carbon monoxide out of your home.
NorthWestern Energy officials also warn customers to use caution and common sense around electric power lines while removing snow from roofs or knocking ice off eaves.
About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 665,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.www.northwesternenergy.com.