Extreme Cold Straining Xcel Energy’s Natural Gas System, Residents Urged To Turn Down Thermostat

January 30, 2019 in News by RBN Staff


Source: WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Xcel Energy is advising residents in parts of central Minnesota north of the metro to turn down their thermostats and reduce their natural gas use.

According to the energy provider, the extreme weather conditions have resulted in a “significant” strain on Xcel Energy’s natural gas system.

“We need those in Becker, Big Lake, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Princeton, and Isanti to reduce use of natural gas. Until further notice, you are urged to turn down your thermostat to 60 degrees or lower and avoid the use of other natural gas appliances including hot water,” Xcel Energy said.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman said shortly before noon Wednesday that Xcel Energy is asking customers to lower thermostat to 55 degrees.

Reg Chapman@RegChapman

Central Minnesota cities are asked to turn their thermostats down to 55. 150 people in Princeton have no heat

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Xcel Energy says residents’ cooperation is critical to prevent widespread natural gas outages. The company also suggests using electric space heaters.

An interruption in the natural gas system occurred on Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. in Princeton. Xcel says about 150 customers are without gas service in Princeton. Xcel Energy says they anticipate gas to be back on Thursday.

Impacted customers have been provided hotel rooms while Xcel Energy works to restore service. The utility is also providing affected customers with space heaters.

If you are one of the affected residents, to secure a hotel room please contact one of these hotels listed below (all rooms booked under Xcel Energy):

• AmericanInn, 910 Run River Road, Princeton (34) 1-763-389-9312
• CountyInn, 18894 Dodge Street Northwest, Elk River (28) 1-763-241-6990
• Super 8, 21130 134th Ave N, Rodgers (25) 1-763-333-0253
• America Best Value, 16776 198th Ave, Big Lake, MN (17) 1-763-262-7666
• Best Western, 89 Chelsea Rd, Monticello, MN (20) 1-763-271-8880
• Run River Motel, 510 19th Ave N, Princeton, MN (11) 1-763-389-3120

Xcel Energy says it has established a command center at AmericInn in Princeton and will be contacting licensed plumbers to protect plumbing while service is being restored.

In the metro, power has been restored to most Minnesotans after more than 7,000 lost power in the metro Tuesday evening. Xcel Energy blamed equipment failures on power poles.

Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy says it is not experiencing issues with its natural gas distribution system and is not asking customers to conserve energy.