Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged residents of the lower peninsula to turn thermostats to 65 degrees or lower until noon Friday in a message delivered Wednesday night.
"Due to this extremely cold weather and extremely high demand for natural gas, and a facility incident, Consumers Energy has asked that everyone in the lower peninsula turn our thermostats down to 65 degrees or less, from from now until Friday at noon, so that we can get through this storm with minimal harm," Whitmer said.
Whitmer asked people to amplify her message on social media.
"Every one of us can play a role in making sure we get through this with minimal harm," Whitmer said. "We're calling on every Michigander to do your part and help us weather this storm together."
According to Michigan Public Service Chairman Sally Talberg, there was a fire involving equipment at a Consumers Energy gas compressor station in Ray Township, Macomb County.
"All state of Michigan owned facilities in the lower peninsula are lowering their thermostats by five degrees to lessen the burden on natural gas supply," Talberg said. "Working together for the good of the state we can reduce our energy use and maintain safe, reliable service."
Talberg suggested residents and businesses engage in measures to reduce gas an electric use:
- Turn down thermostats a few degrees.
- Block leaks around windows and doors.
- Unplug devices when not in use.
The City of Saline and the Saline area are served by DTE Gas. Further west, Manchester and Dexter are served by Consumers.
DTE is also asking residents to dial down the thermostats.
“We know how important it is for our customers and Michigan’s economy to have reliable electric service they can count on day in and day out,” said Christy Wicke, executive director, Generation Optimization, DTE Energy. “While DTE’s plants are running well, our system is connected to energy grids in other states and Canada that are experiencing issues due to the extreme weather. Because of this, we are asking for your support to ensure everyone can stay warm.”
DTE said customers can take action to ease demand for energy.
- Minimize use of electrical appliances and equipment such as washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and humidifiers.
- Turn off all unnecessary lights.
- Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat the home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
Michigan and the Midwest are experiencing historically low temperatures.