Texas

Xcel Energy readies systems for cold weather ahead

(from Xcel Energy )

Company also provides tips for staying warm, lowering bills and keeping informed

AMARILLO, Texas (Nov. 2, 2021) – Xcel Energy is prepared for cold weather and is reminding

customers they can also take steps to maintain a high level of comfort while saving on monthly bills.

“Winter weather on the plains of Texas and New Mexico can present a host of challenges from extreme

cold to high winds to ice and snow, and sometimes all of this at once,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel

Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “We’ve spent a decade investing in system improvements that will stand up

against extreme weather, and these investments proved their worth during last winter’s strongest storms.

We’re ready for whatever winter brings and we want to provide everything customers need to stay

comfortable and manage their energy costs.”

Xcel Energy has invested more than $3 billion in transmission line improvements since 2011 that have

strengthened the grid and provided more options for moving power from neighboring states served by the

Southwest Power Pool. Additionally, area power plants and wind farms were designed for cold weather

and continually improved to withstand extreme temperatures. Winterization preparation reviews

are conducted each fall annually 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.

Xcel Energy owns and operates almost 8,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and more than

16,000 miles of lower voltage distribution lines across the area. The company has invested millions in

recent years in pole replacement and conductor wire upgrades that have hardened the grid against high

winds and ice. And ongoing efforts to upgrade voltages in older neighborhoods to a company standard

provide more options for Xcel Energy to reroute power for faster restoration in the event of weather-related

outages.

Customers can ensure their homes and business are prepared for extreme temperatures by having their

heating equipment checked ahead of winter 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 to have approved contractors inspect their property for drafts and make

the necessary adjustments free of charge. Information on this program can be found online at

xcelenergyefficiency.com.

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. These adjustments are made easier by installing either a

programmable or smart thermostat, both of which allow the customer to schedule thermostat adjustments.

A smart thermostat offers the added benefit of allowing adjustments to be made remotely via a mobile

app or the internet using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Energy Star-certified smart thermostats can

save up to 8% annually on heating and cooling costs, according to energystar.gov.

Should extreme cold come with ice and damaging winds, customers can be prepared to report outages

quickly and track restoration progress by signing up for My Account at xcelenergy.com or by

downloading the free Xcel Energy app, available at Apple Store and Google Play. Customers can be

notified of outages in

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