Emergency alert asks residents to lower thermostats

Utility fire Macomb County

GM also asked "about 20,000 employees at its Warren Tech Center and 4,000 at the Pontiac Propulsion campus to work from home through at least Friday", according to Crain's Detroit.

Consumers Energy today called for all customers to voluntarily reduce their gas usage as a result of an unexpected gas incident in Southeast Michigan.

"One of the great things about Michiganders is we're all in this together", said Vice President of Operations for Consumers Gerrick Rochow.

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. Ford has reportedly turned down the heat at its Liviona and Van Dyke transmission plants, stopped the heat treatment processes in Sterling Axle, and is suspending the paint process at Michigan Assembly while FCA says it has canceled a Thursday shift at both the Warren Truck facility and Sterling Heights Assembly plant.

BUSINESS REDUCTION OF PROCESSES: The company is also encouraging industrial and business customers to temporarily reduce processes. About 30,000 employees were affected at GM alone.

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- Consumers Energy has announced that MI residents will be able to reset their heaters to previous levels after the emergency request to lower thermostats to 65 or lower.

Only factories served by Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers Energy were affected.

"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", Christy Wicke, executive director, Generation Optimization, said in a statement. "We're doing this out of an abundance of caution given the extremely cold temperatures". Spartan Motors, which makes emergency and other large vehicles, suspended manufacturing in Charlotte, Michigan, near Lansing, idling about 800 workers.

Consumers officials say voluntary conservation through Friday, combined with drawing more gas from its storage fields and from out of state, should ensure there is enough natural gas available during the extreme cold snap.

The cause of the fire is not known yet. He said Consumers Energy called to say gas service could be completely shut off in his community at 7 a.m. because the resource was dwindling in the wake of a massive Arctic freeze and a fire that shut down a Consumers Energy facility in northern Macomb County.

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