December 9, 2009
If Colorado Springs residents think this cold weather is rough, just wait until the utility bills arrive.
Colorado Springs Utilities customers set a new record for natural gas usage, with 231,684 million BTUs used between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures hit minus 13 at Colorado Springs Airport early Wednesday, frigid but nowhere near the record of minus 27 for the date, set in 1919.
Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman said the previous all-time high gas use was 221,534 million BTUs on Dec. 7, 2005.
Electric use was also up, at a peak of 795 megawatt hours Tuesday, high for winter but nowhere near the all-time record of 863 set in August 2007.
The weather also led to frozen pipes across the city. Utilities received 50 calls from customers Wednesday reporting no running water.
Officials say residents should leave the heat on and cabinets open to prevent pipes from freezing, and on extremely cold days leave a small stream running from the faucet. View Utilities recommendations here.