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Alliant Energy Asks Customers to Clear Gas Meters

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Now more than ever, make sure you carefully clear snow from your natural gas meter and furnace vent.

With the substantial amounts of snow in recent storms, and the high winds,

Alliant Energy crews are reporting several meters covered in snow and ice across the region.

This build up can cause the meter or gas appliance, like a furnace or hot water heater, to malfunction. If a vent is blocked, carbon monoxide could build up in your home. A blocked vent could also cause a furnace or hot water heater to stop working.

Customers should use a broom or their hands to remove snow from a meter. Do not use a shovel because the hard tip could break the meter.

Newer furnaces and water heaters vent out the side of a home, instead of the top. Customers need to make sure sidewall vents and the roof top vents are clear of snow and ice.

Customers should also be aware of the dangers and risks of carbon monoxide (CO). The risk of illness or death from carbon monoxide increases in the winter. Every home or business should have at least one working CO monitor inside.

Important safety tips:
    Don't pile snow on or near the meter when shoveling or using a snow blower
    Use your hands or a brush, not a shovel, to clear snow and ice from the meter
    Never bang on the meter or pipes
    Don't let dripping water or freezing rain build up on the meter. The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melt during the day and refreeze at night
    Carefully remove icicles hanging above the meter
    Check furnace and water heater exhaust pipes. If an exhaust pipe is blocked, the furnace or water heater could malfunction or stop working

Alliant Energy Corporation's Iowa and Minnesota utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), utilizes the trade name of Alliant Energy. The Iowa and Minnesota utility is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and provides electric service to 525,000 customers and natural gas service to 233,000 customers in more than 700 communities. The employees of Alliant Energy focus on delivering the energy and exceptional service their customers and communities expect - safely, reliably, and affordably. Visit or call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268) for more information. Alliant Energy Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT.
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