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Tips to weather Montana's deep, cold temperatures

Date: Feb 9, 2021

TYPE: News

Butte, MT. – Feb. 9, 2021 – The winter weather gripping most of Montana will continue several more days, with some areas experiencing temperatures well into the negative double digits and some forecast to receive more than a foot of additional snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.

Higher energy demand due to prolonged deep cold is reflected in higher customer bills. Customers can see the comparisons provided on their bill that displays usage patterns for the current billing period compared with the previous billing period and the same time last year. The corresponding average daily temperatures over the periods are provided to highlight the correlation between usage and weather.

Customers worried about paying winter energy bills should call NorthWestern Energy, 888-467-2669, now. Options range from individual payment installment plans to information on how to access emergency bill assistance available through federal, state and non-profit sources.

Energy Savings Tips

  • Bundle up inside rather than turning up the temperature on your thermostat. Wear a cozy sweater and warm socks. Curl up in a blanket when reading or watching TV.
  • Check your hot water heater’s temperature to make sure it’s safe and efficient — 120 degrees is plenty.
  • Check your refrigerator and freezer temperatures to make sure the refrigerator is set between 37 and 40 degrees F and your freezer temperature is between 0 and 5 degrees F.
  • Check your heating equipment to make sure it is working properly and clean or replace the furnace filters.
  • Inspect your windows and doors for air leaks. If you see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window leaks. Seal up the leaks by caulking, adding weather stripping, or installing a door sweep.
  • Wrap your hot water tank and install pipe insulation on the first 10 feet of the hot water pipe.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

For natural gas customers, deep and blowing snow can block heating and appliance exhaust vents, which can cause equipment to malfunction, resulting in a loss of heat or possibly a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide in homes and businesses. Look for your natural gas appliance vents – which often are on the roof – to ensure they are clear of snow.

If at any time if you smell a strong and persistent odor similar to rotten eggs, leave your home immediately and avoid using any electric appliances such as light switches, garage door openers and phones—including a cell phone. When you are at a safe distance away, call NorthWestern Energy or 9-1-1 to report the concern. Stay away from the building until someone from the energy company or a first responder tells you it's safe.

Unlike natural gas, carbon monoxide is odorless and may be present when a fuel is not burned completely due to inadequate combustion or when exhaust vents become clogged. Carbon monoxide symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and confusion.

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About NorthWestern Energy (Nasdaq: NWE)
NorthWestern provides electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 743,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have generated and distributed electricity in South Dakota and distributed natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and have generated and distributed electricity and distributed natural gas in Montana since 2002. More information on NorthWestern is available on the company’s website at www.northwesternenergy.com.

Media Contacts:
Jo Dee Black
866-622-8081
jodee.black@northwestern.com