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Xcel Energy Lifts All Conservation Requests

The company lifted its conservation appeals at intervals to help control demand.

Target areas for the recent conservation appeal. (Credit: Xcel Energy)
Target areas for the recent conservation appeal. (Credit: Xcel Energy)
Xcel Energy lifted its conservation appeal for all customers after three natural gas pipelines were knocked out by an explosion in Canada on Saturday.

The appeal for customers in Minnesota and North Dakota was lifted late this morning, while Wisconsin customers were able to dial up their thermostats starting at noon. 

The company lifted the appeals at intervals to help control demand and ensure safe operations.

"The response from our customers, emergency response officials and other local, state and federal officials was most gratifying," Xcel Energy's senior vice president of operations Kent Larson said. "Customers stepped up to conserve, so fortunately no one lost natural gas service due to this event. Had that happened, however, folks were standing by to move quickly to assist our customers."

The conservation appeals were issued 9 p.m. Saturday, after an explosion early that morning ruptured a TransCanada pipeline in Manitoba, and two nearby pipelines were shut down for inspections. One of the pipelines resumed operations late Sunday, according to Xcel Energy.

While the appeal to residential and business customers to conserve has been lifted, the company's "Interruptible Gas Rates" programs remain in effect for most participants. 

According to Larson, there was "a very remote possibility that supplies for Xcel Energy’s customers in the east Twin Cities metro area" could have been affected.

The full press release from Xcel Energy:  

Xcel Energy officials lifted all conservation appeals today as the company’s natural gas system returned to normal operations.

The appeal for customers in western Wisconsin was lifted at noon, while customers inMinnesota and eastern North Dakota began dialing up thermostats late this morning. The company lifted the appeals at intervals to help control demand and ensure safe operations.

The conservation appeals were issued late Saturday, after an explosion early that morning ruptured a TransCanada pipeline inManitoba, and two nearby pipelines were shut down for inspections. One of the pipelines resumed operations late Sunday.

“The response from our customers, emergency response officials and other local, state and federal officials was most gratifying,” said Kent Larson, Xcel Energy’s senior vice president of operations. “Customers stepped up to conserve, so fortunately no one lost natural gas service due to this event. Had that happened, however, folks were standing by to move quickly to assist our customers.”

While the appeals to residential and business customers to conserve have been lifted, the company’s Interruptible Gas Rates programs remain in effect for most participants. Nearly 600 business customers in Minnesota and North Dakota and 250 inWisconsin and Michigan who participate in the program were asked to reduce natural gas usage beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday. Customers in these programs have agreed to cut back on usage at the company’s request in exchange for reduced rates year-round. 

Should there be further developments, updates will be posted on Xcel Energy’s website and on Facebook and Twitter.

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j let January 27, 2014 at 04:40 PM
A Facebook friend whose husband works in oil in ND, posted this: "I'm upset because in North Dakota they are burning off this same very gas in greed to get to the oil. There is no reason we should be short on supply. There is a point at which we all must question the wastefulness and greed that is the bigger problem here."
Edith Murcer January 28, 2014 at 01:14 PM
God bless coal and oil, without it we would all would be dead in this cold temps not seen in a century
yomammy January 28, 2014 at 04:05 PM
nuke plants--we need new ones NOW.

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