NYSEG and RG&E said they are sending a “scratch and sniff” bill insert with February bills so customers can know natural gas smells like.
“We put a special odorant in natural gas so that our customers can easily detect any leaks,” Mark Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E, said in a statement. “Whenever anyone smells natural gas at their home or business, they should get up, get out and call their utility or 911 from a neighbor’s phone.”
The goal is to promote reporting of natural-gas leaks, the companies, owned by Iberdrola USA, said in a statement. NYSEG serves 873,000 electricity customers and 259,000 natural gas customers across 40 percent of upstate. RG&E serves 362,000 electricity customers and 299,000 natural gas customers in the Rochester area.
“The bill insert explains that people can use sight and sound, as well as smell, to detect natural gas leaks,” the companies said.
Here’s some of their tips:
Smell: Natural gas is naturally odorless. For your safety, a distinctive odor, similar to rotten eggs, is added. Note: Not all natural gas in larger transmission lines is odorized.
Sight: You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust. You may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.
Sound: You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.