Consumers Energy customers asked to lower thermostats after fire

Consumers Energy customers asked to lower thermostats after fire

Officials are warning MI residents that they risk brief interruptions of natural gas service for heat amid bitterly cold weather if they don't help reduce energy use following a fire at a utility's suburban Detroit facility that affected natural gas supplies. The request comes after an unexpected fire at a Consumers facility in Macomb County Wednesday morning that's affected natural gas supplies. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

General Motors Co said late on Wednesday it will temporarily suspend operations at 11 MI plants and its Warren Tech Center after a utility made an emergency appeal to users to conserve natural gas during extreme winter cold.

Consumers officials say voluntary conservation through Friday, combined with drawing more gas from its storage fields and from out of state, should ensure there is enough natural gas available during the extreme cold snap. The geological features, unique to MI, allow the company to store natural gas reserves underground until its needed.

LOOK AT THERMOSTAT SETTINGS: Save energy while staying warm by setting your heat to a lower temperature. In addition, the company has reached out to its largest business customers to reduce gas usage while we continue to investigate the incident.

- Consider lowing thermostats to 65 degrees when people are home and 62 degrees when nobody is home.

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BUSINESS REDUCTION OF PROCESSES: The company is also encouraging industrial and business customers to temporarily reduce processes.

- Seal windows and doors to keep out bitterly cold drafts from getting inside.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the E.A.S. (Emergency Alert System) was activated to urge all customers to turn their thermostat down to 65 or less through Friday at noon.

"I'm coming to you now to ask for your help".

General Motors has stopped work at a dozen different manufacturing sites in MI amid a plea from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Consumers Energy to turn down their heat to 65 degrees until Friday after a utility fire at a Consumers facility in Macomb Township. "Please do. We're calling on every Michigander to do your part and help us weather this storm together".

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