It was a little too close for comfort as the City of Elberton nearly exceeds its natural gas pipeline allotment.
According to Elberton City Manager Lanier Dunn, the city was notified in the early morning hours on Monday to adhere to their pipeline capacity.
Dunn explained what would have happened if the city did surpass its allotted amount of natural gas.
“Then that means that we would be eating into someone else’s allocation, and there are hefty financial penalties for doing that”, explained Dunn.
He says fortunately however, the city was just barely able to avoid that scenario from happening, thanks in part to conservation efforts by local industries.
“We were able to contact some of our larger customers and asked them to conserve and curtail use when they could”, said Dunn. “In doing that, we were about to stay at 98% capacity on Monday and 95% on Tuesday.”
Each day, as calculated by the Transcontinental Pipeline, lasts from 10:00am until 10:00am the next day, which Dunn says is to factor in the coldest times of the day.
With temperatures beginning to warm up, Dunn says the city does not foresee any shortages, and that everything should return back to normal.
Typically the city does not come close to reaching capacity as was the case earlier this week, but Dunn says that the city subscribes to more gas in the colder months.
“Because the temperatures were so extreme, we didn’t necessarily have that in our forecast, and didn’t necessarily have the pipeline capacity for it”, said Dunn. “Because every cubic foot of capacity you take up, you have to pay for, so you don’t ever want to over subscribe, but in cases like this extreme weather you can bump up against your capacity restraints.”
For the month of January, the city has a daily allocation of 4,700 dekatherms; one dekatherm equals roughly 1,000 cubic feet, which means in January the city’s system can use up to 4.7 million cubic feet of natural gas.