National Grid asks customers to avoid using gas fireplaces, clothes dryers and other gas appliances on Christmas Day. Photo: Adobe Stock

(Update- Dec. 26, 7:50 a.m.) National Grid said in a statement yesterday its system is “now operating well” and thanked its customers for conserving gas consumption on the Christmas holiday.

Customers may return their thermostats to normal settings, the utility said. However, it asked that customers “remain judicious and not place unnecessary load” on the system with gas appliances such as fireplaces and clothes dryers between the hours of 6 to 10 p.m. and 6 to 10 a.m. through Wednesday.

Original story:

National Grid is asking its natural gas customers on Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island to cut back on gas usage this holiday weekend due supply problems amidst heavy demand, as the Northeast copes with cold weather and impacts of a powerful winter storm.

National Grid sent alerts to their customers late on Christmas Eve asking for their help to prevent a potential gas outage in the region.

The utility cited interstate pipeline equipment problems caused by the combination of frigid weather and heavy demand, which is challenging the pipelines’ “ability to provide adequate amounts of gas throughout the Northeast,” according to a press release issued Saturday night.

The company also called on its commercially contracted customers who participate in the demand response program to switch to alternative fuels.

The issues are on pipelines that are outside of National Grid’s service area and not owned or operated by National Grid, the company said. National Grid said it needs its customers to conserve usage in order to keep its service reliable for all of its more than 1.9 million customers in the New York metro-Long Island region.

National Grid asked customers to reduce gas usage through this afternoon with the following measures:

Turn thermostats down five degrees for residences if you are at home, and lower them to 60 degrees if you are not at home or operating a business.

Avoid using natural gas fireplaces, clothes dryers and other appliances that are not critical to safety or health.

National Grid said it is also utilizing its liquefied natural gas units for additional supply to serve customers.

“Ensuring safe and reliable service for our customers and the communities we serve is our number one priority and concern,” National Grid Chief Operating Officer Turrini said in the press release. “We appreciate the support of our customers in helping to ensure the stability and reliability of the system for all by taking these conservation measures.”

National Grid sent emails market “urgent” to its customers and posted alerts on social media last night, in addition to issuing a news release, asking for conservation on Christmas Eve through Christmas afternoon.

“We realize this is an inconvenient time while you may be at home with friends and family celebrating the holidays,” the email alert said.

Con Edison, which has 1.1 million natural gas customers and 3.5 million electric customers in New York City and Westchester County, made the same request last night.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.