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Published January 27, 2014, 11:20 AM

UPDATE: Xcel Energy lifts conservation restrictions for North Dakota, Minnesota customers

St. Paul, MN (WDAY TV) – Xcel Energy has lifted the conservation restrictions put in place following a pipeline rupture near Winnipeg.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

St. Paul, MN (WDAY TV) – Xcel Energy has lifted the conservation restrictions put in place following a pipeline rupture near Winnipeg.

Xcel reports that natural gas is flowing to the region after operations resumed Sunday on one of two pipelines that was shut down for inspection. In order to safely return the system to full capacity, Xcel is lifting its conservation appeal in controlled fashion.

“Customers in North Dakota and Minnesota immediately may begin dialing their thermostats back up and using natural gas appliances,” Kent Larson, Xcel Energy's Senior Vice President of Operations said.

Xcel Energy is notifying about 100,000 customers in the areas that were most at risk, namely eastern North Dakota, northwestern and central Minnesota and western Wisconsin, that conservation appeals have been or soon will be lifted.

“Our customers are amazing,” Larson said. “We know keeping their homes at 60 degrees for nearly two days in this extremely cold weather was very uncomfortable. But the effort was worth it, and it helped us maintain the system so no one experienced outages.”

While the appeal to residential and business customers to conserve is being lifted, the company’s Interruptible Gas Rates programs remain in effect for most participants. Nearly 600 business customers in Minnesota and North Dakota and 250 in Wisconsin and Michigan who participate in the program were asked to reduce natural gas usage beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday. Customers in these programs have agreed to cut back on usage at the company’s request in exchange for reduced rates year-round.

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