Rotten Egg Smell Added to Gas Bills

Man holding nose, bills, eggs, stench of rotten eggs.
CBS/IStockphoto
Paying bills usually stinks, but gas bills from a utility in Washington state will include something truly odorous this month: the stench of rotten eggs.

As part of a safety campaign, Puget Sound Energy is including a scratch-and-sniff pamphlet with its billing statements to remind customers of what leaking gas smells like.

Natural gas is odourless, but providers add a chemical to the gas that has a distinctive, sulfur-like aroma similar to rotten eggs so leaks can be detected.

Bellevue, Washington-based PSE serves nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. The company says many electric customers are also getting the pamphlets to help make everyone aware of the smell of natural gas.