Xcel Energy is asking natural gas consumers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota to reduce their natural gas usage following a fiery pipeline rupture in Canada.
"The extreme cold weather is putting capacity pressure on those systems, too, so Xcel Energy is asking all customers -- even those outside the communities whose supplies are most at risk -- to conserve natural gas," Larson said.
Xcel said in a statement that TransCanada Pipeline is still assessing the system to see when lines can be returned to service safely. By Sunday evening, TransCanada reported one of the three pipelines affected by the explosion was returned to service; however, officials say conservation is still needed.
In the interim, Xcel is asking customers to set thermostats to 60 degrees amid a subzero start to the week as long that won't pose a medical risk.
"We want to thank our customers for the assistance they are providing by reducing the temperature in their homes," said Kent Larson, Xcel Energy's senior vice president for operations. "This has helped our system remain stable through the night and morning hours. We ask them to continue conserving natural gas until the situation is resolved."
Xcel Energy has also reached out to local, state and federal officials just in case the conditions should change. They also remain in close contact with TransCanada, the same company that just began construction on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline just four days ago.