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Mesa asks gas customers to reduce usage due to Texas energy crisis

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — Impacts of the Texas energy crisis resulting from frigid winter storms is reaching the Valley.

Along with overwhelming power grids and knocking out electricity for millions, the extreme cold has interrupted the supply of natural gas from Texas to western states – including Arizona.

The city of Mesa is asking natural gas customers to conserve usage until at least Sunday, as gas supply from interstate pipelines in the Texas Panhandle may be getting curtailed in the next couple of days.

The request follows Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordering gas suppliers in the state not to ship any supply out of Texas until Sunday.

It is not clear if Abbott has the legal standing for the order.

“This order could jeopardize the ability of the city of Mesa’s gas utility to acquire sufficient supplies to meet our customers’ requirements,” a message on the city’s website read.

Mesa expects a significant increase in the cost of natural gas supplies due to the potential of shortages and high demand amid the extreme weather.

The city says its suppliers have not been able to meet their contractual requirements and don’t see the ability to do so in the “immediate future.” This is forcing Mesa to purchase natural gas elsewhere which, according to the message, has been as high as 7,000% its normal rate.

Natural gas users in the city are asked to help conserve supply by turning off indoor and outdoor fireplaces and fire pits as well as pool and spa heaters; reduce the time taken for showers; turn down the temperature thermostat, minizine the use of gas-fueled outdoor lighting and shorten the number of time doors are opened and closed.

The city says it is not sure how the natural gas supply strain could impact customers financially, but officials are working to minimize the impact and part of that is reducing consumption.

Mesa also has gas transportation rights from a natural gas basis in northern New Mexico, but the message says the city and other suppliers are leaning heavily on that supply.

Most of the city’s supply comes from the Permian Basin in west Texas, according to the website.

The extreme winter weather is blamed for the deaths of more than four dozen people, as 325,000 homes and businesses in Texas remained without power on Thursday.

That number is down from about 3 million the day prior, however.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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