Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Consumers: Residents can turn thermostats back up at midnight

Bitter cold, natural gas shortages, shutter U.S. auto plants Michigan Utility Companies Ask Customers to Turn Down Heat in Minus-12-Degree Cold After Fire at Gas Plant
Laurie Berry | 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.

Japan's Nikkei: Ghosn says arrest due to plot within Nissan
He remains in detention following his arrest and indictment on charges related to breach of trust and understating his salary. The three companies which form the alliance are expected to revisit how it is operated in the absence of Ghosn's leadership.

Workers at its Warren Tech Center were also told to stay home on Thursday. Ford has reportedly turned down the heat at its Liviona and Van Dyke transmission plants, stopped the heat treatment processes in Sterling Axle, and is suspending the paint process at Michigan Assembly while FCA says it has canceled a Thursday shift at both the Warren Truck facility and Sterling Heights Assembly plant.

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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