ROYAL OAK, Mich., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that wintery temperatures have arrived and snow has blanketed Michigan, Consumers Energy is reminding its gas and electric customers to keep safety in mind and follow some simple steps to keep their meters clear.
One of the best ways customers can help ensure the safety of meter readers as well as the proper operation of natural gas and electric meters is by keeping the meters free of snow and ice.
When snow and ice are allowed to build up on and around meters water can sometimes enter and freeze inside the meter, which can interfere with its safe operation. Snow and ice around gas and electric meters should be carefully removed by hand, not with shovels or power equipment such as snow blowers. It is also advised to keep air intakes clear of ice and snow to help prevent possible carbon monoxide (CO) problems.
Keeping a clear path to the meter with no obstacles around its location also helps meter readers do their job efficiently and safely. Whenever possible, sidewalks, walkways and stairways should also be kept free of ice and snow. For indoor meters, the path leading to the meter should be kept clutter-free and well lighted to help spot potential hazards.
"When customers help by following these safety steps, it makes their gas and electric meters easier to read and will also reduce the need to estimate your energy use," said Michele Kirkland, vice president of Energy Operations for Consumers Energy.
"The cooperation of our customers to keep meters and paths to them clear will help us obtain efficient and accurate readings in a safe work environment. We appreciate their assistance because it can mean the difference between an injury-free employee visit and an accident," Kirkland added.
As an additional safety precaution, customers are encouraged to secure dogs away from all meters.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
PHOTO: Download the photo on this news release: http://www.flickr.com/photos/consumersenergy/sets/72157634342591265
BROCHURE: For more gas safety information, visit http://www.consumersenergy.com/uploadedFiles/CEWEB/SHARED/3Rs-Pipeline-and-People.pdf
SOURCE Consumers Energy