Utility companies in Missouri are preparing to take extreme measures to handle the incredibly high demand due to dangerously cold temperatures.

Spire Energy is urging customers to conserve energy due to natural gas supplies across the country. According to a news release from the company, the shortage is twofold. The extreme cold in much of the Midwest increased demand, but it also resulted in natural gas wells freezing in parts of the country.

“Our teams are working hard to make sure our customers are safe and warm during these weather conditions,” said Scott Carter, Spire Missouri president. “We are carefully monitoring the situation and while our systems remain strong, we want to work together as a community by taking some temporary steps to make sure they stay that way.”

Spire said the St. Louis area is not expected to have service outages, but the increased demand throughout the country is expected to result in a price increase.

“With the weather conditions creating a combination of supply issues and high demand, we are seeing increases in natural gas prices in our region,” Carter said in the news release. “How this will specifically impact customer bills is something we can’t quantify at this time.”

Spire advised conserving energy and provided the following tips:

• Turn thermostats down a few degrees

• Limit use of natural gas fireplaces

• During the day, open curtains on south-facing windows to let sunlight heat the home. Close curtains at night to reduce potential incoming cold from any drafty windows

• If windows feel drafty, install insulating drapes, shades or weather sealing tape to prevent cold air from seeping in

• Seal areas around the home where air could come in. These leaky areas often can be found around pipes that connect to the outside, unfinished spaces behind cupboards, recessed lights in insulated ceilings and closets.