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Xcel asks Minnesota customers to turn heat down to 63 degrees

MINNEAPOLIS – With extremely cold temperatures anticipated to continue into Thursday morning, Xcel Energy is asking Minnesota customers to help conserve natural gas to ensure the gas system can continue to operate well for customers across the state.

In a news release, Xcel said it is asking customers to temporarily reduce the thermostat setting to 63 degrees if possible through 9 a.m. or later Thursday morning, Jan. 31. This step can help ensure that all customers continue to have gas service during this bitterly cold weather, Xcel said.

About 150 Xcel customers in Princeton, about 45 miles north of the Twin Cities, lost gas service about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Xcel was offering accommodations at area hotels as gas service may not resume until Thursday.

Law enforcement and firefighters made door-to-door checks of affected residents, the Sherburne County Sheriff's Department said. Several were opting to shelter in place and use alternative heating methods or taking advantage of space heaters provided by Xcel, the sheriff's department said.

If natural gas customers ever detect inside or near their home a sulfur or rotten egg smell – the odorant that put in natural gas to help detect leaks, Xcel said they should leave the home immediately. Do not turn any electrical devices on or off, do not use a garage door opener, and never use any phone until they are outside and away, then call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-2999. In a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

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