Operational Excellence
March 18, 2024

“Calm, cool and collected”: Celebrating our natural gas workers

On Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day, we shine a spotlight on these critical frontline employees

Providing safe, reliable service is a priority at Xcel Energy, and our natural gas crews are a critical part of making that happen. On March 18, Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day, we honor the employees who work tirelessly to make sure the natural gas our customers rely on continues to flow safely to their homes and businesses. 
“As a gas emergency responder, I know that I am in the customer service business,” said Jake Warner, an Xcel Energy employee for 21 years. “In my mind, it is about the three Cs: calm, cool and collected. If you’re not calm, you’ve missed the mark on providing good customer service in an emergency situation.”  
Warner has been a gas emergency responder for 14 of his years with the company, driving countless miles on response calls. “I know the Denver metro area like the back of my hand,” he said. “I don’t need Google Maps.”
When Warner responds to a gas odor call, it is not as simple as testing for the presence of natural gas in the building or surroundings. Emergency gas responders complete a number of safety checks to locate the problem: they test the ambient air, the piping and the meter; they test for carbon monoxide; and they cycle all the gas appliances to test for leaks of either natural gas or carbon monoxide.
“We cover all the bases to provide a sense of comfort to our customers, said Warner. “Natural gas is a valuable service that heats our homes. At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring that our customers know that we’re here first and foremost to protect their safety.”
Warner has the skills and knowledge he needs to follow regulations, serve gas customers and ensure that he, his co-workers and his customers live and work safely around the natural gas system. When asked about his favorite part of the job, he responds without hesitation.  
“There is always the potential for a big emergency repair. Something complex that requires a level head and fast action. Those are the times that I feel the most proud of the work that I do.”