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Nicor Gas breaks historic gas delivery records during Polar Vortex

Employees work around-the-clock to ensure safe and reliable natural gas service during record-breaking weather

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Feb. 11, 2019 – During the record-breaking cold weather in the Midwest last week, Nicor Gas broke some of its own records, delivering the most natural gas in a single day. Nicor Gas delivered more than 4.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas to its 2.2 million customers throughout northern Illinois. This is the single largest delivery of natural gas in the company’s history and surpassed previous records set during the 2014 Polar Vortex.

Every customer deserves peace of mind that we’ll be there to keep their homes warm, businesses running and families safe. That’s why planning for winter weather begins long before the temperatures drop and natural gas use goes up, or what we call peak demand days. This includes the $1.25 billion investment Nicor Gas has made in infrastructure modernization and improvements to replace aging natural gas pipelines, move meters from inside homes and businesses to outside, upgrade natural gas storage systems and refurbish stations that regulate the natural gas pressure in our system.

During this extreme cold weather Nicor Gas employees worked around-the-clock to monitor our pipelines to ensure the safe performance and reliability of our infrastructure. More than 7,000 customer 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, Jan. 30 and Jan. 31; there were no major service outages during the weather event.

“We may have put out a historical volume of gas during these extreme subzero temperatures,” said Melvin D. Williams, president of Nicor Gas. “But the number of customer compliments speaks larger volumes to the commitment of our employees – when conditions are at their worst, we are at our best.”

Responding to a company Facebook post, customers thanked Nicor Gas employees. Some of their comments included:

“Thank you, Nicor Gas! Your people do a wonderful job! Please stay safe!”

“We had a gas leak today at our home and the crew in Bloomington came right out (in -35 wind chill) and fixed it for us. They even did it with a smile on their face and icicles hanging from their eyebrows. So thankful for them today!”

“Thank you all for the hard work and even those that are standing by at the ready to get the work done.”

Nicor Gas employees are equipped with the safety training, tools and resources needed so they can effectively respond to any potential situation. And because ensuring the safety of every family we serve is our highest priority, Nicor Gas continues to provide important safety tips for cold weather you can follow too:

Heavy snow and ice may weigh down power lines and tree limbs, causing them to fall. If a natural gas meter is damaged or underground gas line is exposed, immediately leave the area and call 911 or Nicor Gas’ 24-hour emergency response line 888.Nicor4U (642.6748) from a safe location.

Exercise caution removing snow or ice from your natural gas meter assembly. Use your hands or a broom, not a shovel, to brush away snow or ice from your meter and regulator. Never kick or hit your gas meter or its piping with a hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice.


Detecting Gas Leaks

  • If you smell the rotten egg odor that is often associated with natural gas or suspect carbon monoxide is present, immediately leave the affected area and call 9-1-1 or the 24-hour emergency response line 888.Nicor4U (642.6748) from a safe location.
  • Never try to identify the source of a leak yourself.
  • If the odor of natural gas is present, do not use a telephone or cellphone in the area of the odor. Do not turn light switches on or off. Do not operate any appliance or do anything that might cause a spark, such as lighting a match.

Appliance Safety

  • Never use natural gas appliances, such as ovens or the burners on a stove, to heat your homes or businesses.
  • Make sure your heating system, water heater and any other natural gas appliances are serviced and inspected annually by a qualified licensed professional.
  • Do not use any defective natural gas appliance until it has been inspected, serviced and determined to be safe by a qualified plumber or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • To ensure the safe, proper operation of natural gas appliances, such as a furnace or water heater, and to prevent the potentially hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide within your home or business, ensure that outdoor vent openings and air intakes are not obstructed by snow or ice.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if anyone in your home or business experiences possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.



About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.8716 |  jgolz@southernco.com