Xcel Energy says its prepared to handle dangerous cold snap - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Xcel Energy says its prepared to handle dangerous cold snap

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Eau Claire (Press Release) – With dangerously low temperatures and wind chills in the Upper Midwest forecast, Xcel Energy today assured customers that its electricity and natural gas systems are prepared to handle the cold and that energy resources are adequate.
 
"Xcel Energy has been investing more than $1 billion a year in its Upper Midwest system, upgrading and replacing infrastructure to ensure we can provide reliable service even during periods of extreme weather and high demand," said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
 
"In addition to making sure the system is in good shape, we've also ensured we have enough electricity and natural gas supplies to meet customers' needs," said Mark Stoering, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Wisconsin, an Xcel Energy company.
 
Due to expected high demand for natural gas, Xcel Energy is asking the nearly 600 business customers in Minnesota and North Dakota who participate in Interruptible Gas Rates programs to reduce natural gas usage beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. Customers in these programs have agreed to cut back on usage at the company's request in exchange for reduced rates year-round. A decision on whether the 250 program participants in Wisconsin and Michigan also will be asked to reduce usage is pending.
 
"We will be closely monitoring our electricity and natural gas systems during the weekend and early next week to respond quickly should any service disruptions occur," Sparby said, noting that extra workers will be in the field, in site offices and on call to respond to any electricity or natural gas outages.
 
"We urge our workers, customers and anyone who might need to be outside in this extremely cold weather to take every precaution to remain safe,"Stoering said.
 
Should an electricity outage occur, customers can get updates on the Outage Map at www.xcelenergy.com. For safety tips, go to Winter Safety, Natural Gas Safety, or Electricity Safety.
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