WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Puget Sound Energy’s gas-saving request, and the outage it didn’t mention

Puget Sound Energy provides natural-gas service in our area (and electricity in many other areas outside Seattle). If you’re a customer, you probably got an email alert tonight, requesting conservation and saying in part:

This evening, we’re asking customers to set their thermostats at a lower setting and limit the use of hot water, such as dishwashing or clothes washing, dryers and other appliances.

What the notice didn’t mention is that a major gas-storage facility operated by PSE suffered an outage earlier today – Jackson Prairie Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility in Lewis County. After seeing this report, and a PSE quote here, we contacted the utility and received the same statement:

Jackson Prairie went offline around 2 p.m. today. It has steadily been coming back on since then.

Puget Sound Energy is asking customers to conserve natural gas and electricity use through the evening hours. Due to the extreme cold temperatures facing our area, regional utilities are experiencing higher energy use than forecasted, and we need to reduce strain on the grid.

PSE has not yet commented on what caused the facility to go offline.

17 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Puget Sound Energy's gas-saving request, and the outage it didn't mention"

  • Seattlite January 13, 2024 (11:50 pm)

    My gas furnace quit working early this morning.  I called three different furnace companies and no one was available until Monday.  Monday is a holiday which means I will probably be without heat until Tuesday or later.  I am sure there are others in the same situation.   Stay bundled up.  If you use a space heater, be very careful and cautious with it.

    • Rob January 14, 2024 (8:11 am)

      Its not a holiday for everyone especially a non union furnace guy

    • Nancy January 14, 2024 (9:02 am)

      A lot of us experienced furnace malfunction because our condensate drip lines froze. If that’s your issue it’s a pretty easy fix, using a hair dryer to unfreeze the line.

    • John January 14, 2024 (5:27 pm)

      Do you have a digital thermostat or just a regular one? Are you getting any kind of error code on that or on the furnace itself? I was having an issue where the gas wasn’t flowing and turns out somehow the earthquake sensor on my gas line had triggered and no gas was flowing. $200 for a service call for the guy to go out and twist a knob and then leave. Might be worth going out and checking that

      • David Kerlick January 15, 2024 (9:58 am)

        Story about Steinmetz(early GE) was called out because a power plant was down. He flipped a switch and fixed it, charged $1000. When they objected he itemized:Flipping the switch $1Knowing which one $999.

  • 22blades January 14, 2024 (1:36 am)

    My plumber mentioned that it’s been nonstop pipe burst calls from wake-up to bed time.

  • Rob January 14, 2024 (8:25 am)

    Another tip for furnace  not working, if you have a high efficiency furnace check outside your house where the condensate drain comes out it could be frozen.  If this happens  your furnace will stop working. Use a hair dryer to fix it. This a very common problem 

  • Matt January 14, 2024 (8:45 am)

    Wow! It’s really disappointing PSE isn’t owning up to their failure but instead blaming temperatures and customer demand – even when directly asked about it by reporters. Maybe it’s too soon to say but thankfully we didn’t experience a massive failure like Texas. Though, it seems like it was narrowly avoided. 

  • Eric1 January 14, 2024 (8:50 am)

    This is a good reminder to have backup heat sources for your home in case of emergencies. Not just for personal comfort but also to keep the pipes in your home from freezing.  Alternative sources of heat like enclosed gas fireplaces and electric space heaters are good secondary ways to keep the home above freezing.  You never know when your primary source of heat might go offline due to individual unit or system wide failures.  Natural gas failures are rare but as seen here perhaps not impossible if a couple of gas distribution points break down under stress. 

  • Z January 14, 2024 (9:33 am)

    Just got a second email from them on the issue at 9am so safe to assume the issue is persisting.

  • Mike January 14, 2024 (9:53 am)

    Jefferson Community Center had multiple power outages yesterday.

  • MoreInfo January 14, 2024 (11:26 am)

    not sure why it’s not clearer in the post, but the facility is co-owned by 3 different utilities. it’ll probably be a coordinated effort to determine and announce the reason for failure. as far as what PSE solely controls, it’s fair of them to try and get load shed voluntarily rather than roll a blackout.

  • Rooster January 14, 2024 (11:41 am)

    Natural Gas provider in Spokane told their customers there was an outage on Friday. Wonder if the cold is to blame.

  • Emcat8 January 14, 2024 (12:07 pm)

    Thanks for this. I certainly have had no information from them and was completely unaware of the situation. Since I’m in cancer treatment, being cold is very hard on me, but I can certainly avoid laundry or dishwasher use and skipping a shower or two. 

  • sam-c January 14, 2024 (12:28 pm)

    Even putting the thermostat at 62 instead of the usual 68, the furnace is running pretty consistently.  Over night/ @11:30pm, the thermostat is set to go to 59′ F, which usually means that the furnace is off all night long. But these days, I wake up and hear it running just to keep the house at 59′ F.

  • Seattlite January 14, 2024 (2:08 pm)

    Rob and Nancy…Thanks for the info about frozen condensation drain.  Whenever the furnace guy shows up, he can confirm the problem.  I will watch what he does if it ends up being the frozen condensation drain so I can handle it myself the next time.  Cheers!

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