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Xcel asks Interruptible participants to reduce gas use

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Xcel Energy is assuring customers that its electricity and natural gas systems are prepared to handle the forecasted bitter cold and that energy resources are adequate, but is asking Interruptible Gas Rates participants to reduce natural gas use.

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“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.

Due to expected high demand for natural gas, Xcel Energy is asking the nearly 600 business customers in Minnesota and North Dakota who are part of Interruptible Gas Rates programs to reduce natural gas use beginning 9 a.m. Sunday.

Customers in these programs agree to cut back 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.

Customers can get updates, should an outage occur, at www.xcelenergy.com.

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