As temperatures drop, SWG hopes changes prevent trouble of February gas outage

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- As we approach the winter months, Southwest Gas customers in Southern Arizona are remembering the bitter cold they faced last February.

A federal investigation found Southwest wasn't at fault for an outage that left thousands without power, but customers are still upset about the lack of communication from the company.

About 10 months ago, Southern Arizona was hit with some unusual temperatures.

A lack of gas production from the supplier in Texas left some Southwest Gas customers freezing.

Many of the customers were left in limbo because of a lack of communication from the gas company.

Residents weren't informed that they'd be losing gas and they didn't know when the service would be restored.

"One of the problems that they had in the whole escapade last winter was that they didn't communicate well with their customers," said Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Gary Pierce.

The Arizona Corporation Commission asked that Southwest Gas do a better job of communicating. And the gas company listened.

"What  we really found is that people want to be communicated with in multiple different ways.  We've also started communicating with customers via social media like Facebook and Twitter," said Libby Howell from Southwest Gas.

The gas company was able to get a trial run of their social media pages during the Monument Fire.

"We had to announce to customers that they were going to be evacuated and their service shutdown, and they didn't have a single complaint which shows that they learned the lesson and the procedures they implemented work," Pierce said.

Southwest Gas also added 12 miles of new pipe and a new delivery point for Southern Arizona.

It will allow for more natural gas to come in from an interstate pipeline.