From our friends at Consumers Energy:
Consumers Energy greatly appreciates conservation efforts by all natural gas customers across Lower Michigan to assist with a supply issue on the company’s gas distribution network. Conservation, even by gas customers served by other utilities than Consumers Energy, is making a difference.
This morning, we are cautiously optimistic that our public requests to reduce gas use are having a positive effect.
However, with Thursday’s continued historically cold weather, we ask that conservation measures continue through the end of the day Friday, Feb. 1.
Repairs at our Ray Compressor Station are ongoing and the station is partially in service, providing natural gas to our distribution system. However, we are asking
that all customers continue to conserve until the end of the day Friday, Feb. 1, to allow for temperatures to moderate and additional repairs to the Ray Station.
Consumers Energy, the governor and the public service commission scurried Wednesday night to urge customers to cut gas usage after a fire at a critical facility belonging to the utility, including using a late-night alert on cell phones.
The utility warned of brief, localized shutoffs if customers ignored the request.
"This truly is an unprecedented crisis," said CEO Patti Poppe said. "We have never been in this situation before."
At least one automaker said it was suspending operations serviced by Consumers after an explosion and fire at the utility's Armada Township facility at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after Consumers reached out to its largest business customers to cut usage and to suppliers to bring in additional supplies to Michigan.
"If we don’t get the reduction in demand, and if the system doesn't flow properly in any other way," she said, the company could start notifying commercial and residential customers about "localized planned curtailments."