News Release

TECO Peoples Gas Outage Update #4

TAMPA, May 19, 2010

Peoples Gas continues to make progress regarding yesterday’s loss of pressure on the Florida Gas Transmission station that resulted in 10,500 Peoples Gas customers in Jupiter and Palm Beach County losing service.

The restoration sequence includes three key steps:

  • First, each customer’s gas service is physically turned off and locked by a representative of Peoples Gas as a safety precaution and as required by federal and state regulations.
    • The key valves used in the isolation process and the individual customers’ gas meters have been turned off and secured in all of the three phases.
  • Second, gas mains are re-pressurized to the appropriate level and inspected.
    • The process of pressurizing and purging air from the main lines is completed in all phases. 
    • People living in an affected outage area should be aware that the purging process may result in sounds of loud blowing air and the smell of natural gas (a rotten egg odor added to the gas for safety purposes).
      • Purging gas lines is a common practice that is required by federal and state restoration procedures.  However, as a safety precaution, TECO Peoples Gas workers will be monitoring the area and working closely throughout the process with fire and public safety officials.  People that smell gas may call a customer service representative toll-free at 1-877 TECO PGS (1-877-832-6747).
  • Third, Peoples Gas crews and authorized contractors visit each customer premise and ensure natural gas service is restored, pilot lights are re-lit and safety checks are completed by a representative of Peoples Gas.
    • This afternoon, Peoples Gas began restoring customers including hospitals, some of which were Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter Medical, nursing homes, schools and emergency response centers.
    • The restoration effort has started in all three phases of the affected area and included some residences in Marisol and PGA National area, in addition to critical facilities and some commercial businesses.
    • Peoples Gas crews will continue the process of line pressurizing and purging in all of the affected areas during the next 24 hours.
    • As Peoples Gas restoration crews progress through neighborhoods, door hangers will be left for customers who are not at home. Access to the home is necessary for restoration.

“I am proud of the progress we’ve made to restore our affected customers. We are carefully following our established procedures to ensure the safety of everyone involved as we restore service as quickly as possible,” said Peoples Gas president Gordon Gillette.
Customers should not turn off their gas supply at the main meter. Only emergency personnel or utility personnel should turn the valve on or off. A customer may turn off the gas for individual appliances at the appliance valve near each unit but it is not necessary.

For latest update on our progress as well as safety tips please see www.peoplesgas.com.

Peoples Gas System, Florida's largest natural gas distribution company, is one of the four core businesses of TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company, with regulated electric and gas utility operations in Florida through Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System. Peoples Gas serves approximately 335,000 customers in most of Florida's major metropolitan areas and beyond. Other TECO Energy subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia, and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and distribution and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.

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CHERIE JACOBS
TECO Energy, Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas
TECO Energy, Inc.
702 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
E-mail: cljacobs@tecoenergy.com