Whitmer asks residents to turn thermostats down to 65 degrees until Friday after utility fire in Macomb County

Posted at 9:48 PM, Jan 30, 2019

(WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency regarding Michigan's usage of natural gas and the record-cold weather.

Whitmer and Consumers Energy made a plea Wednesday evening asking customers to reduce their gas usage after a utility fire broke out at a gas compressor station in northern Macomb County earlier in the day.

Patti Poppe, president and CEO of CMS Energy & Consumers Energy went live on the company's Facebook page to ask customers to reduce their usage. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also followed up with a live briefing on the issue, declaring a state of emergency. Whitmer asked residents to turn their thermostats to 65 degrees or lower until noon Friday.

“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,” said Garrick Rochow, Senior Vice President of Operations for Consumers Energy.

There were no injuries caused by the fire that happened around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Residents and businesses can reduce gas usage by doing the following:

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.
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