Natural gas: a connection for better living

Published 7:47 am Friday, January 27, 2017

By Todd Jorgenson

Gas & Water Operations Director

Austin Utilities provides natural gas service to over 10,000 customers in and around the city of Austin. We provide this service through a network of over 180 miles of pipelines of various sizes connecting to each one of our customers.

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Natural gas is a safe, efficient and excellent choice for our customers to utilize for winter heating, year round cooking and water heating in their homes and businesses. To continue to provide customers with safe and reliable natural gas, we offer the following guidelines for it use.

Todd Jorgenson, Gas & water operations director

Todd Jorgenson, Gas & water operations director

Only use appliances that are approved for natural gas and installed per manufacturer’s instructions.

Have appliances serviced and inspected by an authorized dealer.

Maintain a clean space in and around each appliance and avoid placing any flammable material in close proximity.

Never use a natural gas oven or range top for space heating

Check your furnace filters monthly, change or clean as needed to keep your heating appliances operating efficiently and safely.

Install and maintain a working carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. Annual maintenance checks could include replacement of batteries and checking the expiration date typically located on the back side of the carbon monoxide alarm. Minnesota State Statutes now requires that all single family homes and multi-family or apartment dwellings have an approved carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. “Every single family dwelling and every multifamily dwelling unit shall be provided with a minimum of one approved and fully operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within ten (10) feet of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes.”

Clear any accumulation of snow around outside vents of your furnace or other natural gas appliances. This allows for the proper air flow necessary for safe operation of each appliance.

Carefully remove any snow or ice accumulation around and up to the natural gas meter. Accumulations of snow and ice on a natural gas meter could cause a malfunction and possible interruption of service.  If ice accumulation is severe, please contact Austin Utilities at 433-8886.

If you suspect a natural gas leak:

Leave the area immediately.

Do not operate any types of electrical devices, to include telephones or light switches.

Do not attempt to make repairs.

Contact Austin Utilities from a remote and safe location immediately at 507-433-8886.

In addition to providing customers with natural gas, Austin Utilities also has a staff of trained gas service technicians available to conduct minor repairs or inspections of various gas appliances. Technicians are available to respond to gas leak / gas smell investigations, furnace or boiler no heat concerns, no hot water, overheated appliances, gas pressure complaints, emergency calls such as fire or flooding and checking for carbon monoxide (CO). Most service work performed by Austin Utilities gas service technicians is free of charge for the labor with the customer paying for only the replacement parts installed. Please remember that we are available to respond to customer concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week by contacting us at 507-433-8886.

Austin Utilities is a municipal utility serving approximately 12,300 electric customers, 10,300 natural gas customers, and 9000 water customers. Their mission is to offer utility products and services in a safe, reliable and responsible manner in order to enhance the quality of life in our community. For more information about Austin Utilities visit their website at