UPDATE: Consumer's Energy now says that the limited usage that they had asked for has worked, and customers may turn their thermostats back up beginning at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, February 1, 2019 (twelve hours earlier than expected.)

Consumer’s Energy is asking all their customers to reduce their natural gas usage voluntarily because of a shortage caused by an equipment fire.

I know, the perfect time right, when it’s below zero, but 'Mayhem' doesn’t happen when it’s perfect.  We’ve all seen the commercials.

Anyway, Garrick Rochow, Senior Vice President of Operations for Consumers Energy explains what happened,

“As a result of an unexpected incident at a Gas Compressor station this morning in Southeast Michigan, we are asking customers to temporarily reduce gas usage at this time while we continue to contain the incident and help keep Michigan residents warm during this cold spell.”

A fire at a gas compressor station in Macomb County Wednesday morning is what is causing the shortage, because they’ve had to shut down all gas flow to the compressor station until they can figure out if it’s safe, according to their press release.

Here are a few tips from Consumer’s Energy to help reduce your gas usage:

  • LOOK AT THERMOSTAT SETTINGS: Save energy while staying warm by setting your heat to a lower temperature. Use your programmable thermostat to set your heat at 65 degrees when you are home and 62 degrees when you are away for less than 5 hours.

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

  • SEAL & SHUT WINDOWS AND DOORS:   Check for leaks in your windows and doors by feeling around for cool air. Also, please ensure all windows and doors are closed tightly.

For more information or tips, visit: www.consumersenergy.com/coldweather