AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Xcel Energy reports that its regional power grid is ready for the upcoming winter weather event and how its customers can maintain comfort and save energy in the event of a power outage.
The National Weather Service said in a tweet that wind chill values in areas of the region could get as low as -35 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Xcel, steps have been taken to winterize power plants and harden the grid over the past decade with over $3 billion invested into improvements.
“Our customers can be assured that we’ve taken steps to winterize power plants and harden the grid, and our employees stand ready to respond quickly and safely in the event of an interruption to electric service. Likewise, our customers have the tools they need to manage the cold weather and costs at the same time,” said Adrian J. Rodriguez, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas.
Xcel Energy wanted to give tips to its customers to prepare for extreme temperatures and save on heating costs:
- Having heating equipment checked ahead of winter.
- Taking steps to make interior spaces more airtight with weather stripping around doors and windows. According to Xcel, customers can save money by keeping warm air from escaping.
- Adjust the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from normal settings for eight hours a da. Using a programmable or smart thermostat can make these adjustments more convenient according to Xcel.
In the event of a power outage, Xcel said its customers can help by reporting the outage to Xcel through its mobile app, online here, or by calling 1-800-895-1999.
Xcel said winterization reviews are done annually at its Texas and New Mexico Plants. The company said it has replaced and updated infrastructure across the area and is currently efforting the upgrade to voltages in established neighborhoods with the aim for it to hasten the restoration of power in case of an outage.
Officials with Xcel Energy energy added that its system is part of the Southwest Power Pool within the Easter Interconnection and is not part of ERCOT in Texas or the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) that serves a large portion of New Mexico.