Consumers Energy is calling on all customers to voluntarily reduce their natural gas usage as a result of an unexpected gas incident in Southeast Michigan. Consumers tells us there was a problem at a gas compressor station in Macomb County that led to a fire on Wednesday. As a result, Consumers Energy is activating natural gas peaking storage fields around the state to get gas to customers. Natural gas is stored underground and reserved in those fields, which are activated when energy demand requires it. The utility is also asking its largest business customers to reduce gas usage. Consumers says customers can reduce their usage by setting the thermostat to 65 degrees when at home and 62 when away. It also suggests everyone check for leaks in windows and doors by feeling around for cool air.
Statement from Michigan Public Service Chairman concerning gas supply:
“Staff from the Gas Operations Section of the Michigan Public Service Commission is on site at Consumers Energy’s Ray Township facility in Macomb County to ensure public safety following a fire involving equipment at a gas compressor station. This unfortunate incident happened at a difficult time for our state and we ask that everyone do what they can to make sure there is a plentiful supply of natural gas to keep everyone safe and warm during the extreme cold weather. Without jeopardizing safety, there are some measures Michigan residents and businesses can take to reduce gas and electric use, such as turning thermostats down a couple of degrees, blocking leaks around windows and doors, unplugging electronic devices when not in use, and adjusting staffing or processes. All state of Michigan owned facilities in the Lower-Peninsula are lowering their thermostats by 5-degrees to lessen the burden on the natural gas supply. Working together for the good of the state, we can reduce our energy use and maintain safe, reliable service.”