Puget Sound Energy sends stinky bills as gas leak reminder
August 26, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 26, 2011
The utility bills reaching more than 1.5 million Puget Sound Energy customers through September stink.
Inside each envelope is a scratch-and-sniff pamphlet to help customers recognize the rotten-egg odor used to help identify and report natural gas leaks.
Scratch, and the pamphlet releases a sulfurous aroma, similar to eggs gone bad. PSE and other natural gas utilities add the scent, or odorant, mercaptan to colorless and odorless natural gas.
“We distribute this pamphlet to our customers and others in the region to make sure both natural gas users and the general public are familiar with the odor so they can recognize it and safely report if they suspect a natural gas leak around their homes or elsewhere,” Martha Monfried, PSE director of corporate communications, said in a statement.
If anyone suspects a natural gas leak, take the following precautions:
Leave the area immediately.
- Do not use phones. Do not turn any electric switches, appliances or lights on or off.
- Do not smoke, light a match, use a lighter or do anything to potentially create a spark.
- Use a phone well away from the area and call PSE, 24 hours a day, at 1-888-225-5773, or 911.
“Smell isn’t the only way to detect a natural gas leak,” Monfried said. “A hissing sound, blowing dirt or bubbles in a puddle may also indicate a possible natural gas leak.”
People can also test natural gas knowledge ty competing PSE’s “Test Your Natural Gas IQ” quiz.
Bellevue-based PSE serves more than 1 million electric customers and almost 750,000 natural gas customers throughout Western Washington, including Issaquah.