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AOG restores service to small businesses in Fort Smith

Natural gas service has been restored to small and medium businesses in the River Valley.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corporation (AOG) announced it has restored service to small and medium commercial customers by lifting the curtailment order they issued Tuesday (Feb. 16) evening.

Because of gas supply issues and extreme winter weather across the Midwest beyond the company’s control, AOG had to make the decision to curtail gas use of small, medium and industrial customers throughout their service territory. 

Thanks to the cooperation of area businesses as well as residential customers, the company was able to preserve gas access for homes and essential services during the unprecedented event.

“We know the recent shortage of gas supply has affected businesses, community members and workers in many ways. We appreciate everyone that contributed to the solution. As a result of the community working together, we were able to maintain gas service through this difficult time to homes and essential services throughout the area,” said Fred Kirkwood, Chief Customer Officer at AOG. “We continue to experience some supply constraints and ask customers to conserve their energy usage at this time.”

Industrial users on AOG’s system continue to be curtailed due to ongoing supply constraints. The company continues to communicate with those customers and is developing a plan to restore service to them as soon as the gas supply permits. 

Tips for conserving energy usage include:

  • Keep your thermostat a few degrees lower than normal, as long as there are no health risks. Avoid turning your thermostat up too high, too fast.
  • Reduce your thermostat to 60 degrees overnight and when you are away from home for more than a few hours.
  • Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Clear space around your registers so warm air can flow freely.
  • Close dampers on unused fireplaces and keep garage doors closed to prevent warm air from escaping. Insulate around windows and doors to prevent air leaks and keep warm air inside.
  • Soak up the sun by opening curtains on your south-facing windows during the day and let the sunlight heat your home. Then, close them at night to reduce the incoming cold from any drafty windows.

In addition to reduced energy usage, here are tips to stay safe at home:

  • Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
  • Protect natural gas meters. Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush. Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object.
  • Minimize the risk of frozen pipes. In the event you lose heat or power, leave faucets running at a trickle, leave cabinet doors open, and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.

RELATED: Natural gas outage impacting River Valley businesses

RELATED: AOG cuts gas supply to some Fort Smith businesses, residents urged to cut back usage