Media Contact: Steve Schultz (608) 458-3285
Heavy snow and ice can affect meters and cause safety concerns
MADISON , WI – December 18, 2008 – While most area residents have dug out their driveways and sidewalks from the recent winter storms, the snow we’ve already gotten and the snow that’s predicted in the coming days could still cause problems with gas and electric meters and appliance operation. In addition, meter readers often have a difficult time wading through snow while trying to reach customers’ meters.
“With the snow already on the ground in many parts of Wisconsin and more on the way, it’s important to remember that snow accumulation and shoveling can sometimes cause electric or gas meters to be covered,” says Mark Hawley, Manager – Safety & Heath Services, Alliant Energy. “This could affect the operation of the meter.”
Hawley suggests keeping the following tips in mind this winter:
* Don’t pile snow on or near the meter when shoveling or using a snow blower
* Use your hands, not a shovel, to clear snow and ice from the meter
* Never bang on the meter or pipes
* Don’t let dripping water or freezing rain build up on the meter. The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melt during the day and refreeze at night
* Remove icicles hanging above the meter
* Check furnace and water heater exhaust pipes. If an exhaust pipe is blocked, the furnace or water heater could malfunction or stop working
Natural gas regulators have a vent to allow gas to escape; if this vent is blocked, gas flow into the home could be compromised.
“It just takes a few minutes, and it can prevent a lot of problems,” adds Hawley. “We want all our customers to stay safe and warm this winter, and we appreciate everyone who helps us keep the energy flowing safely and reliably.”
For more information, please call Alliant Energy’s 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-ALLIANT (255-4268).
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and over 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary focus. Wisconsin Power and Light, the company’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, serves 450,000 electric and 175,000 natural gas customers. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com.