Consumers Energy says residents can turn up thermostats again

Customers asked to conserve natural gas until midnight Thursday

DETROIT – Consumers Energy officials announced residents can turn up their thermostats beginning at midnight Thursday, as the emergency public appeal to conserve natural gas has ended for all customers in Metro Detroit.

"There is no doubt the gas reduction efforts by residents and businesses across the Lower Peninsula played a key role in helping maintain natural gas flow in our distribution system at a time when it was critically needed," Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe said. "Because of the swift action of all, we were able to continue critical services. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the men and women of Consumers Energy, we thank you."

Consumers Energy officials asked customers to conserve gas Wednesday after a fire damaged equipment at its Ray Natural Gas Compressor Station in Macomb County.

"We are sorry that we had to do that," Poppe said. "We are disappointed that our system was unable to serve at full capacity."

There were no injuries in the fire, and the cause is still under investigation, officials said.

The fire reduced the amount of natural gas that could be delivered to customers from underground storage at the compressor station, officials said.

Repairs at the compressor station are ongoing, and one of the three compressors is partially in service, Consumers Energy officials said.

During the emergency public appeal, many residents were forced to bundle up in their own homes.

"I spelt in a hoodie," Jerbina Sturdivant said. "I mean a hoodie with my hood on, and it was cold."

Thousands of Michigan residents got an alert late Wednesday night about the emergency.

"A text message came through the phone and I'm, like, 'Wait, what? Sixty-five or lower?'" Sturdivant said.

Residents hope this is the last call to action from Consumers Energy.

"Someone should come up with a solution in case this even happens again," Sturdivant said.

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