Our Company 
news release

NYSEG and RG&E Drive Home the Importance of Natural Gas Safety With ‘Scratch and Sniff’ Bill Insert

Rochester, NY – NYSEG and RG&E, subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA, will be sending a “scratch and sniff” bill insert with February bills so customers can experience what natural gas smells like.

“We put a special odorant in natural gas so that our customers can easily detect any leaks,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “Whenever anyone smells natural gas at their home or business, they should get up, get out and call their utility or 911 from a neighbor’s phone.”

  • NYSEG’s natural gas emergency number is 1.800.572.1121; RG&E’s natural gas emergency number is 1.800.743.1702.

NYSEG and RG&E respond to natural gas emergency calls 24/7 to investigate and take any necessary action.

The bill insert explains that people can use sight and sound, as well as smell, to detect natural gas leaks.

  • Smell: Natural gas is naturally odorless. For your safety, a distinctive odor, similar to
     rotten eggs, is added. Note: Not all natural gas in larger transmission lines is odorized.
  • Sight: You may see a white cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust.
     You may also see vegetation that appears to be dead or dying for no apparent reason.
  • Sound: You may hear an unusual noise like roaring, hissing or whistling.

The cover of the bill insert includes the statement “This is an important notice. Please have it translated.” in six languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Vietnamese. NYSEG and RG&E want to make sure this important information gets the broadest dissemination possible, and ensure that language is not an obstacle.