EEI honors Xcel Energy with ‘Emergency Assistance Award’ for outage restoration help

The Edison Electric Institute today honored Xcel Energy with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for outstanding efforts to assist fellow utilities in restoring electricity during 2008.

The award is presented annually to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and awards were presented today during EEI’s Spring CEO meetings.

Xcel Energy assisted four utility companies in the wake of Hurricane Ike, which devastated parts of Texas and Arkansas with 110 mile-per-hour winds. The Category 2 hurricane hit utility infrastructure hard, leaving behind extensive damage and debris and complicating accessibility to restoration sites.

Xcel Energy sent 123 company personnel along with 269 contractor employees, who worked a combined total of 73,500 hours to restore electric service to the customers of fellow companies.

“Xcel Energy was instrumental in helping to restore electricity to thousands of customers this past year,” said EEI President Thomas R. Kuhn. “The company’s tremendous efforts were emblematic of our industry’s commitment to get every customer, regardless of whose service territory they’re in, back on line as soon as possible following a disaster of Ike’s magnitude.”

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at