Utility Asks Customers to Reduce Gas Usage Immediately: “We Need Cooperation”
Consumers Energy is asking all customers to voluntarily reduce their gas usage as the utility faces potential delivery problems.
Asked about whether customers could experience gas outages during this extreme weather period, Consumers Energy’s Senior Public Information Director Terry DeDoes told ELi this morning, “we are cautiously optimistic that efforts to reduce natural gas usage are beginning to work.”
DeDoes emphasizes “we continue to need cooperation through tomorrow [Friday] from our residents and businesses” with the goal of “keeping Michiganders warm and safe.”
Last night, area phones went off with an emergency message asking customers to lower their thermostats.
The problem stems from a fire at a gas compressor station in southeast Michigan that started at about 10:30 a.m. yesterday No one was injured and the fire was extinguished by about 3 p.m.
But as a result of the fire, “All gas flow from the compressor station has been shut in until safety and damage assessments can be completed.”
Consumers Energy is tapping its underground natural gas peaking storage fields in Northville and St. Clair to help manage the problem.
The utility is asking all its customers who rely on gas for heat to lower their thermostats. The recommendation is to set the thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home, and 62 when you are gone for less than five hours.
Businesses are also being asked to reduce activities that require gas.
All customers are asked to check windows and doors for leaks. Fabric (towels and rags) pushed into leaking spaces can help reduce heat loss. Closing shades and curtains can also reduce heat loss.
You can read more from Consumers Energy at their alert here.