Media Release, Xcel Energy:
Xcel Energy is prepared for next week’s winter blast in Texas and New Mexico and is reminding customers of ways they can maintain a high level of comfort, save money and stay informed in the event of a power outage.
“The reliability of our system is vital any time of year, but even more important during extreme cold,” said Adrian J. Rodriguez, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “Our customers can be assured that we’ve taken steps to winterize power plants and harden the grid. Our employees are highly trained and stand ready to manage our power plants and address issues with power lines quickly and safely in the event of an interruption to electric service.”
Xcel Energy has invested more than $3 billion in grid improvements over the past decade to strengthen
the region’s electric system and boost power imports from neighboring states. Additionally, area power
plants and wind farms were designed for cold weather and are continually being improved to withstand extreme temperatures. Winterization reviews are conducted annually each fall at Xcel Energy’s Texas-
New Mexico power plants, and new wind farms, such as Sagamore in New Mexico and Hale in Texas, were built with “cold weather packages” that allow the turbines to run in subzero temperatures.
The company has replaced thousands of wooden poles and updated wire on many key distribution feeder lines across the area to reduce outages caused by high winds and ice buildup. And ongoing
improvements at the neighborhood level are providing more options for Xcel Energy to reroute and restore power quicker in the event of weather-related outages.
Customers can be prepared for extreme temperatures by having their heating equipment checked ahead of cold weather and taking steps to make interior spaces more airtight by adding weather stripping around doors and windows.
Customers can take advantage of Xcel Energy’s Home Energy Services program by having approved
contractors inspect their property for drafts and make the necessary adjustments free of charge.
Information on this program can be found online on the Energy Efficiency Services page at
Winter heating accounts for about half a typical customer’s monthly energy costs, so it’s possible to
realize big savings in the winter if customers keep warm air from escaping to the outside and ensuring
heating units don’t have to run as often.
Another important way to save on heating costs is to adjust the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit
from normal settings for eight hours a day. A programmable or smart thermostat can make these
adjustments more convenient, allowing customers to schedule thermostat adjustments. Many new
thermostats can also be controlled remotely via a mobile device, and the most advanced models can
adjust settings automatically based on activity inside the home. Energy Star-certified smart thermostats
can save up to 8% annually on heating and cooling costs, according to energystar.gov.
Should extreme weather come with ice and damaging wind, customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump
on power restoration by reporting outages. Customers have a number of ways to report their outages:
• Via the Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
• Online at xcelenergy.com/out• Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds.
Additionally, the website features an outage map that displays information on the number of customers
out and anticipated time for restoration.