Consumers Energy asks customers to lower thermostats after utility explosion

Michigan Utility Companies Ask Customers to Turn Down Heat in Minus-12-Degree Cold After Fire at Gas Plant

Polar Vortex: Fire Breaks Out at Detroit Natural Gas Plant, Customers Urged to Lower Heat

The Jackson-based utility says no one was injured in the fire Wednesday at its Ray Natural Gas Compressor Station in Macomb County.

The fire hit a Consumers Energy natural gas compressor station north of Detroit on Wednesday as record-cold temperatures swept over the region.

Due to extremely high demand for natural gas with these record low temperatures and a facility incident, Consumers Energy has asked that everyone who is able to turn down their thermostats through Friday at noon so we can all get through this with minimal harm. "It's going to be colder tomorrow than it was today".

General Motors is closing several plants on Thursday including Orion Assembly, Pontiac Stamping, Flint Stamping, Flint Engine, Flint Tool Die, and Lansing Delta Township Assembly, Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing Regional Stamping, Lansing Grand River Stamping, Warren Transmission and the Warren Tech Center.

Ford Motor Company lowered the temperature in its Livonia Transmission Plant and Van Dyke Transmission Plant to minimum levels, according to a spokeswoman, and the company also stopped heat treatment processes at Sterling Axle Plant, as well as the paint process at Michigan Assembly.

"But it is not enough", Poppe said. "I need you to take action right now", she said. Consumers Energy is activating natural gas peaking storage fields in Northville and St. Clair to help deliver natural gas to our customers.

The fire broke out about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, utility company DTE Energy issued a similar request to customers.

At 10 a.m. Thursday, Consumers said repairs are ongoing at the Ray Compressor Station, and that those making a gas conservation effort are "making a difference". "Ensuring out of an abundance of caution that everyone's home is safe and warm tonight".

There were no injuries at the facility where the fire occurred and the cause remains under investigation.

All State of Michigan-owned facilities in the Lower Peninsula are lowering thermostats by five degrees.

DTE Energy, meanwhile, also asked MI customers to help "safeguard the reliability of the regional energy grid" amid the cold by voluntarily reducing electricity use.

Editor's note: Both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are corporate sponsors of Michigan Radio.

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