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Xcel Asking Natural Gas Customers To Conserve
Sunday, January 26th, 2014 -- 6:51 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

In the wake of a pipeline rupture in Canada early Saturday morning, Xcel Energy asked natural gas customers in Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota to conserve.

“Our natural gas supplies currently are adequate, but the situation in the wake of the rupture in a pipeline just south of Winnipeg is still being evaluated,” said Kent Larson, Xcel Energy’s
senior vice president for operations.

Supplies most at risk are those to Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin; Fargo and Grand Forks in North Dakota; and East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Brainerd in Minnesota.

Xcel Energy is asking residential customers in those areas who use natural gas to heat their homes to turn their thermostats down to 60 and avoid using natural gas appliances. Businesses
that use natural gas also are asked to conserve.

Xcel Energy is contacting local officials to ensure they are prepared should conditions change.

“Customers should consider using electric space heaters if possible; however, caution should be taken to avoid overloading circuits,” Larson said. “Also, please check on elderly or sick
relatives or neighbors to ensure they are safe.”

There is a very remote possibility that supplies for Xcel Energy’s customers in the east Twin Cities metro area, including St. Paul, and other parts of Minnesota also could be affected, Larson
said, although southern Minnesota also gets natural gas supplies from pipelines to the south.

“As a precaution and to maintain system stability, we are asking all natural gas customers to turn their thermostats down as far as possible -- unless doing so would pose a danger to their
health or safety -- and to avoid running natural gas appliances. We expect to know more by mid-day Sunday.”

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