PRINCETON, Minn. (FOX 9) - Xcel Energy is now asking some customers north of the Twin Cities metro to turn their heat down to 55 degrees or lower to prevent widespread natural gas outages in the area.
Xcel is experiencing a "significant strain on our natural gas system due to extreme weather conditions," according to a statement.
Customers in Becker, Big Lake, Chisago City, Isanti, Lindstrom and Princeton are being encouraged by the company to turn their thermostat down to 60 degrees or lower and to avoid the use of other natural gas appliances, including hot water.
Xcel suggests using electric space heaters to heat their homes. The Minnesota Fire Marshal's office is reminding people the importance of using space heaters correctly to prevent fires. They recommend keeping combustibles at least three feet from space heaters, plugging space heaters directly into an outlet and not an extension cord and not leaving space heaters unattended.
In Princeton, Xcel is providing hotel rooms for customers affected by an "interruption" in the natural gas system that occurred around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Approximately 150 to 160 people were affected.
A full list of hotel rooms and information can be found on the Xcel Energy website.