Xcel electric customers in Fargo will keep their 'outage credit' for a while longer

Jul 2, 2017

Public Service Commissioners Brian Kroshus (l), Randy Christmann and Julie Fedorchak (6-30-17).
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Xcel Energy is extending an “outage credit” until the end of the year for its Fargo customers.

That credit was created after Xcel had problems with power outages. Under it, if a customer has three or more outages a year, the customer would receive a $50 credit on the electric bill. That credit was to expire – but North Dakota Public Service Commission staff worked with the company to keep it in place a little longer..

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said Xcel has been working to replace some “unjacketed cable” that may be the problem with many of the outages. She said she hopes once that project is finished, reliability will improve.

"And they (Xcel) have really invested a lot into trying to improve the reliability," Fedorchak said. "They recognize it is an issue, and continues to be an issue."

Fedorchak said she's heard from a number of customers frustrated with the outages.

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said Xcel has also discovered that when city salt trucks are out to take care of ice, the salt splashes on wooden power poles. Kroshus said it interacts with the chemical treatment on those poles, causing the poles to catch fire.