TRI-STATE (WFIE) - CenterPoint Energy, which oversees Vectren, is asking Indiana South customers to temporarily lower their thermostat settings to help conserve natural gas.
The Indiana South region includes customers in Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties.
“We are not currently in an emergency situation, but we ask for our customers’ assistance in curbing their natural gas usage so that we can continue to provide reliable service and prevent any disruptions,” said Richard Leger, Vice President, Natural Gas Distribution, Indiana and Ohio. “We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our customers for all their energy conservation efforts during this time.”
CenterPoint Energy Senior Communications Specialist Alyssia Oshodi said the request is just a precautionary measure.
“We’re asking customers to proactively curb their natural gas usage by lowering their thermostat to 60, 65 degrees when they’re home,” she said. “When they’re away from the home or asleep, they can even lower it another five to ten degrees.”
Oshodi also recommended that people avoid using too much hot water.
One of Vectren’s customers, Mark Garrett of Evansville, told 14 News that he didn’t plan to cooperate with the demands.
“I think it’s idiotic,” Garrett said. “It’s ludicrous because it’s so cold right now, even 70, 74 (degrees) can’t keep you warm. I’m not doing that for them. What are they going to do for me?”
Oshodi said that CenterPoint can’t determine whether or not the current situation will cause utility prices to change.
For now, she said they are only asking people to change their habits through the end of the week.
Customers in Texas and other areas have been experiencing rolling outages.
The city of Jasper has issued a natural gas emergency.
City officials say the polar conditions have had an unprecedented impact on their natural gas.
For those living in Jasper, residents are asked to reduce the consumption of natural gas immediately.
For industries that use natural gas, the city asks to temporarily shut down and turn the thermostats down.
For residents, people are asked to turn their thermostat down below 70 degrees, reduce natural gas or hot water use and avoid gas fireplaces.
The city of Huntingburg is also urging residents to turn their thermostats down due to a critical natural gas supply brought on by the cold weather.
To help ease the demand, officials are asking everyone to adjust their thermostats to 68 degrees.
They also ask for you to avoid or cut back on the use of large natural gas-consuming equipment.
The city of Grayville in Illinois is also asking residents to turn their thermostats down below 68 degrees and to close all non-essential businesses until further notice.
You can read the statement from the supplier of Grayville’s natural gas below.
14 News spoke with CenterPoint Energy’s Richard Leger about the recent natural gas shortage.
You can watch the full interview in the video below: