Press release: Xcel warns of controlled outages

AMARILLO — In the wake of an unplanned generation outage, Xcel Energy has declared an Energy Alert in its Texas and New Mexico service territory and is urging customers to cut back on their use of electricity. The alert is in effect until 7 p.m.

Xcel Energy declares an Energy Alert only when a reduction in electricity use is urgently needed to maintain 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 Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. “For example, elderly people or people who have health concerns should NOT turn off their air conditioners.”

Suggestions on how reduce electric load include:

• Either turn off air conditioning or increase your thermostat setting to 85 degrees, slowly lowering the setting after 7 p.m. to a more comfortable setting. This does not apply to customers who depend on air conditioning for health reasons.

• Put off household chores that involve electrical appliances until after 7 p.m. (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 forecasts indicate that, unless customers cut back on use, electricity demand will exceed the amount of electricity the company will be able to supply from its own power plants and by purchases from other utilities.