Xcel Energy, area electric co-ops, declare Energy Alert

With extreme cold temperatures still gripping the region, Xcel Energy and the electric cooperatives in the Texas South Plains, Texas Panhandle and eastern and southeastern New Mexico regions have declared a higher Energy Alert level and are urging customers to cut back on their use of electricity.

Additionally, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has requested the conservation of electric and natural gas energy.

Extreme cold weather has created energy deficiencies in the Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) region. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. SPP and Xcel Energy declare an Energy Alert only when a reduction in electricity use is urgently needed to maintain the continuity of the electricity system and service to customers.

“We are making a public appeal to our customers to turn off lights and appliances unless it would harm their health,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas.

Suggestions on how reduce electric load include:

Set thermostats to 68 degrees or lower.

Suspend use of electrical appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc.)

Put off tasks at work, if possible, that would demand electricity (power tools, maintenance equipment, etc.).

Turn off televisions and electronic equipment unless they are necessary to conduct business or to ensure your health and safety.

Turn off unnecessary lighting, leaving on only enough to move about safely indoors.

Xcel Energy indicates that, if customers do not reduce their use, electricity demand may exceed the amount of electricity the company will be able to supply. Failure to reduce electricity demand could result in controlled electric service interruptions within the region.

Xcel Energy declared the Energy Alert only after all other efforts to reduce electricity demand or to increase supply were implemented. Those include:

Bringing online as many power plant generating units as possible and buying as much electricity as possible from other utilities.

Reducing electricity use as much as possible at Xcel Energy power plants and office buildings.

Interrupting power to industrial and agricultural customers who signed up for lower interruptible rates.

Asking other commercial and industrial customers to curtail their energy use.

“We take our responsibility to supply energy to our customers very seriously, and we declared this Energy Alert only after exhausting all other options,” Hudson said.

Electric cooperatives in the Texas South Plains, Texas Panhandle and eastern and southeastern New Mexico regions include:

Bailey County Electric Cooperative Association (Texas)

Big Country Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Deaf Smith Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Greenbelt Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Lamb County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Lighthouse Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

North Plains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Rita Blanca Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

South Plains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Swisher Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Texas)

Central Valley Electric Cooperative (New Mexico)

Farmers Electric Cooperative (New Mexico)

Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative (New Mexico)

Lea County Electric Cooperative (New Mexico)

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