MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Xcel Energy is advising residents in parts of central Minnesota north of the metro to turn down their thermostats and reduce their natural gas use.

According to the energy provider, the extreme weather conditions have resulted in a “significant” strain on Xcel Energy’s natural gas system.

“We need those in Becker, Big Lake, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Princeton, and Isanti to reduce use of natural gas. Until further notice, you are urged to turn down your thermostat to 60 degrees or lower and avoid the use of other natural gas appliances including hot water,” Xcel Energy said.

WCCO’s Reg Chapman said shortly before noon Wednesday that Xcel Energy is asking customers to lower thermostat to 55 degrees.

Xcel Energy says residents’ cooperation is critical to prevent widespread natural gas outages. The company also suggests using electric space heaters.

An interruption in the natural gas system occurred on Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. in Princeton. Xcel says about 150 customers are without gas service in Princeton. Xcel Energy says they anticipate gas to be back on Thursday.

Impacted customers have been provided hotel rooms while Xcel Energy works to restore service. The utility is also providing affected customers with space heaters.

If you are one of the affected residents, to secure a hotel room please contact one of these hotels listed below (all rooms booked under Xcel Energy):

• AmericanInn, 910 Run River Road, Princeton (34) 1-763-389-9312
• CountyInn, 18894 Dodge Street Northwest, Elk River (28) 1-763-241-6990
• Super 8, 21130 134th Ave N, Rodgers (25) 1-763-333-0253
• America Best Value, 16776 198th Ave, Big Lake, MN (17) 1-763-262-7666
• Best Western, 89 Chelsea Rd, Monticello, MN (20) 1-763-271-8880
• Run River Motel, 510 19th Ave N, Princeton, MN (11) 1-763-389-3120

Xcel Energy says it has established a command center at AmericInn in Princeton and will be contacting licensed plumbers to protect plumbing while service is being restored.

In the metro, power has been restored to most Minnesotans after more than 7,000 lost power in the metro Tuesday evening. Xcel Energy blamed equipment failures on power poles.

Meanwhile, CenterPoint Energy says it is not experiencing issues with its natural gas distribution system and is not asking customers to conserve energy.

Comments (86)
  1. Gregory Fritz says:

    For all fees and huge prices increases xecl charges..this should not happen…time for heads to roll at xcel

  2. John Robb says:

    America has no idea how much Proven Reserves of NG we have. What we have are wild guesses. Burning NG thru Power Plants instead of Coal and exporting NG is Insane. Coal Power Plants have 6 months Coal Supply in the Power Plants storage yard. NG Power Plants are connected to a Pipeline if something goes wrong with Pipeline, Power Plant shuts down.

    1. Brian Sparks says:

      Not sure I am as worried about “proven” reserves but you do bring up a good point. What if some terrorists blew up a bunch of pipelines all at once. NG power plants would go offline with no onsite storage.

      1. Wes Mullen says:


        1. Texas has more NG than we can possibly use thanks to Fracking. If we were to turn the meters off at our northern and eastern borders the North would freeze solid! Keep burning that NG folks we like the income! Just make sure you pay your gas bill!

  3. If we were dependent on Green Energy thousands would be dead in Minnesota. Turn up your thermostats! Get your house good and warm… you deserve it! Let them figure out the problems they caused.

  4. Stig Henstrom says:

    Drill baby drill !

  5. Hal Slusher says:

    You mean it is snowing in the winter Damn Al Gore was wrong

  6. Keith Brown says:

    Ironic the young female “reporter” was sent out in the temps, but then had to tell viewers– who already know how cold it is, how the cold made other businesses close in order to keep their employees home. News WCCO (pronounced phonetically: “wack’ o”) editors: get a clue.

  7. Michael Wright says:

    This is why we need coal… Not rocket science folks. Coal is plentiful and cheap, and works in severe conditions where most gas will not.

  8. Stewart Smith says:

    I hope all the liberals that don’t like pipe lines enjoy a cold house . By the way if you don’t like pipe lines turn the one that goes to your house OFF .

  9. Fredrick J. Benson Sr. says:

    Not the sharpest tool in the box but. This is not about supply and demand, it’s about demand of the supply. Someone out there can educate us about the whole cf, pressure, temperature, expansion thing. Stop laying blame, its winter in the North with an Alberta Clipper pushing through. Stay warm we are being inconvienced here in Texas also, to cold for flip-flops.

    1. Yirmin Snipe says:

      This isn’t rocket science. Doesn’t matter how much NG is in the country it comes down to how much NG can you move to a given area. Pipelines have a finite capacity that can be transported on any given day safely. Once you have an area demand more gas than they can transport through a pipeline in a given day you will have a shortage caused by the limitations of the pipeline. That is what has happened here. There is plenty of NG in the country, but the limitations on delivery are causing the problem.

  10. If man is warming the globe, he’s doing a poor job of it.

    Forget the cowbell, we need more global warming and NOW!!!

  11. The poor Somalis that BO relocated to the Minneapolis area must be having a hard time of it right now. They are probably not used to the cold temperatures that they did not experience in Africa. The Democrats who invited them to the United States now need to open their homes to the Somalis who possibly need the warmth they need in order to survive.

  12. Big Mama says:

    Hows that pipe dream of ..”No fossil fuels in 12 yrs…Instead ..with windmills and Solar panels” from Occasional Cortex and KamelToe Harris …. workin for ya!

  13. Doug Day says:

    Ahhh, the Green Dream. Freeze to death. Misery. 55. Put on a sweater…

  14. In Pipestone county we have wind generation, but the power generated is sold out of state. Mn has been driven by compassionate liberals demanding that these coal generators are trouble. Our electric rates have risen 27% and the move is to change the coal generation to natural gas. Can you not see that there is a expense for changing these plants over? And coal emissions have changed greatly to the good, however, people see the smoke out of the stack and associate the smoke as harmful.

  15. Tomas Cruz says:

    Next week Socialist Cortez and leftest Marky are going to introduce the new Green Deal to Americans. It will surely be the biggest killer of humans without a shot being fired.

  16. jameshrust says:

    This loss of natural gas energy is a wakeup for the nation that renewable energy will not solve our energy problems and we must continue use of coal, oil, and natural gas until a practical alternative becomes available. This story of hardship should be posted all over the nation so as to squash the “Green New Deal”.