AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With the cold weather approaching the High Plains, Xcel Energy is reminding customers on the steps they can take to save on monthly bills, according to a press release by Xcel Energy.
“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,” Hudson concluded.
According to Xcel, “the company has invested more than $3 billion in transmission line improvement since 2011 that have strengthened the grid and provided more options for moving power from neighboring states served by the Southwest Power Pool.”
In addition, Xcel explained that are power plants and wind farms are designed for the cold weather and are constantly being improved to withstand extreme temperatures, with preparation reviews conducted annually each fall in the Texas-New Mexico power plants and wind farms, Xcel detailed.
Around 8,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and more than 16,000 miles of lower voltage distribution lines across the area are operated by Xcel Energy and the company has invested millions in repairs and wire upgrades in older neighborhoods to withstand winds and ice.
Xcel Energy said that 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 window.”
Additionally, Xcel explained that customers can take advantage of its Home Energy Services program to have a contractor inspect their property free of charge. Information on the program can be found here.
According to the release, winter heating account for about half a typical customer’s monthly energy costs so customers can save by keeping warm air from escaping to the outside and ensuring heating units do not have to run as often.
Another tip Xcel provided was to adjust the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from normal for eight hours a day. Installing either a programmable or smart thermostat allows the customer to schedule thermostat adjustments remotely from smartphone or tablet. This adjustment will save up to 8% annually on heating and cooling costs, according to energystar.gov.
Customer can be prepared to quickly report outages or damages by signing up for “My Account” at xcelenergy.com or by downloading the free Xcel Energy app available at Apple Store and Google Play.