At approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the E.A.S. (Emergency Alert System) was activated to urge all customers to turn their thermostat down to 65 or less through Friday at noon. In fact, the call is being made for nearly all residents. SEMCO Energy customers appear to be the only ones that will remain unaffected.

Consumers Energy is asking all customers to reduce their natural gas usage for the next 24 to 48 hours after a fire at a key facility in Macomb County Wednesday morning.

This comes at a time while record cold is blanketing the Midwest. Patti Poppe, President and CEO of CMS Energy & Consumers Energy, personally made the reduce usage request to customers in a live video. Followed soon after by a public address from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The main concern being that supplies could run so low that customers will be left in the cold during a deadly and historic cold snap.

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.

There were no injuries at the facility where the fire occurred and the cause remains under investigation. Consumers Energy is activating natural gas peaking storage fields in Northville and St. Clair to help deliver natural gas to customers. Natural gas is stored underground and reserved in these fields, which are activated when energy demand requires it. In addition, the company has reached out to its largest business customers to reduce gas usage during this time.