UNDATED -- Xcel Energy is reminding customers to keep snow and ice away from natural gas meters.

Recent snowfall and drifting snow can bury gas meters and cause gas buildup inside your home. Melting snow and ice can also drip on meters and refreeze, increasing the potential for a meter malfunction.

The natural gas meter's regulator vent is especially vulnerable to plugging and can cause gas pressure problems.

You should very gently remove snow or ice from the meter by hand or with a shovel. Don't use a snowblower or sharp tools around gas pipes and meters.  Also, check to ensure melting snow or ice isn't dripping on the meter.

Xcel Energy encourages you to keep a maintained path to your meter in case of an emergency.