NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — High winds and freezing temperatures are expected to be unrelenting through the winter season.

That means the potential for power outages. So, power companies have been prepping for the worst.

Xcel Energy has put plans in place to make sure key employees, including line workers, are available.

They even have crews from different states on standby if needed, to safely restore power to customers as quickly as possible.

Cold weather across our state affects production and demand for natural gas, so Xcel customers will see a slight increase in their gas bill this month.

Customers may want to consider conserving natural gas for the next few days because the wholesale cost is passed on directly to customers’ wallets.

“This storm system moving across the country and the cold temperatures are creating increased demand on that commodity that natural gas. And so, supply and demand how economics work, we’re going to see increased prices that we pass on to our customers because we don’t make more money off that, we have to buy the gas at whatever the price is to keep homes heated and natural gas provided,” said Tony Grindberg, the principal manager for Xcel Energy North Dakota.

To keep your gas bill down you can change your furnace filters frequently, insolate your water heater, and reduce oven use.