Utility asks eastern NM customers to conserve

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Xcel Energy is asking its eastern New Mexico customers to curb their electricity use over the next 24 hours.

The utility is expecting high demand on the area's electric distribution system because of frigid temperatures.

Company officials say people limiting their use will reduce the strain on distribution lines.

Xcel says it should produce enough electricity to meet demand on Wednesday, but the distribution lines serving eastern New Mexico communities are at or near capacity.

The utility says that's because customers use more electricity to heat homes and businesses in the extremely cold weather that has hit the state.

Utility officials say customers can help prevent power emergencies by turning off unneeded lights, computers and appliances and setting the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.