Consumers: Residents can turn thermostats back up at midnight
Consumers: Residents can turn thermostats back up at midnight
Michigan Utility Companies Ask Customers to Turn Down Heat in Minus-12-Degree Cold After Fire at Gas Plant
01 February, 2019, 01:13
Local news reports point to a "fire at a utility's suburban Detroit facility" that forced Consumers Energy to ask customers to use less energy.
Cell phones chimed with an emergency alert around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, with a message from Consumers Energy: "Due to extreme temps, Consumers asks everyone to lower their heat to 65 or less through Friday". The utility said more than 100 of its largest industrial customers cut their gas usage to help get through the shortage.
Consumers Energy says customers can turn their heat back up after midnight.
Consumers Energy today called for all customers to voluntarily reduce their gas usage as a result of an unexpected gas incident in Southeast Michigan.
The utility says gas flow from the station was shut off, putting MI residents at risk of brief service interruptions with wind chills below zero. In a statement, the company said its plants are still operating normally, but are linked to energy grids in other areas that have been affected by the extreme cold, potentially putting supply at risk.
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Only factories served by Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers Energy were affected. "We're doing this out of an abundance of caution given the extremely cold temperatures".
The Michigan Public Service Commission said all state-owned facilities in the Lower Peninsula lowered their thermostats to reduce the burden on the natural gas supply.
The economic impact of the shutdowns is likely to be small. Dart Container Corp., switched natural gas boilers to oil and curtailed some operations near Lansing that use natural gas. Whitmer asked residents to turn their thermostats to 65 degrees or lower until noon Friday. Consumers Energy is activating natural gas peaking storage fields in Northville and St. Clair to help deliver natural gas to our customers. A root cause analysis to try and determine why the fire occurred has also been initiated.
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