AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As cold temperatures descend on both Texas and New Mexico, officials with Xcel Energy are providing customers with tips on how they can save money on their respective energy bills.

This comes as natural gas commodity prices remain high with global supply and demand issues. According to a news release from the company, this contributes to the higher rates of energy bills, with around 30% of the region’s power generation being fueled by natural gas.

“Xcel Energy purchases natural gas at wholesale, and the cost of the natural gas used to generate electricity is passed along to customers without markup,” the release said. “To protect against market fluctuations in the price, Xcel Energy provides a diverse energy mix that includes a large amount of wind energy to minimize the effect of natural gas price increases on electric bills.”

The release said that some of the steps that Xcel Energy provided for customers to save money on their respective energy bills include:

  • Lower the thermostat a few degrees, ideally to 68 degrees or lower;
  • Install a smart thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when away from home or during overnight hours;
  • During daylight hours, open drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight. To retain heat, keep them closed when it is dark;
  • Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling, adding comfort and savings;
  • Keep interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain constant heating levels.

For those who need help paying their bill, officials with Xcel Energy said they offer payment plans and can connect individuals to energy assistance programs in their communities.

For more information about energy-saving tips, or other energy assistance programs and resources, visit Xcel’s website or call 1-800-895-4999.