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FortisBC still asking you to lower natural gas use, despite wintry weather

(iStock Photo)

FortisBC wants you to keep the thermostat below 20 degrees, when possible

Reduce hot water use during showers, use cold water when doing laundry

Damaged pipeline only operating at 85 per cent capacity

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It may be tempting to crank the heat during this cold spell. But FortisBC still asking you to cut back on natural gas usage, following an explosion at the Enbridge-owned pipeline in October.

The damaged pipeline is only operating at 85 per cent capacity. Fortis says it will be several months before supply is back to normal.

“We’re asking people to keep the thermostat below 20 degrees Celcius,” Doug Stout with Fortis said. “If you can, turn it down to 17 overnight or when people are out of the house.”

But he admits not everyone can deal with cooler temperatures at home. “Someone with health issues at home or small children … We understand that some people may need to keep it a bit warmer than others. We’re just asking everyone to do what they can do.”

RELATED: Harsh winter may trigger BC-wide natural gas shortage following pipeline explosion

You are also asked to reduce hot water use during showers and use cold water when doing laundry. If you have an energy-saving mode on your dishwasher, you’re asked to use that when possible and only run the dishwasher when it’s full.

Stout adds restaurants and hotels are also asked to do their part. “The decorative flames and the decorative fireplaces — all those kind of things, we’re asking those folks to cut those things out and make sure they have enough gas to cook and keep the buildings warm.”