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Natural gas failure, lower thermostats ‘immediately’

We Energies on Friday, Dec. 23 urged customers to reduce natural gas use by “immediately” lowering their thermostats to 60 to 62 degrees.

In a news release, the utility said the move will allow customers to stay safe, warm and help avoid a significant natural gas outage.

This request comes after an interstate pipeline supplier that provides natural gas to We Energies experienced a significant equipment failure that is limiting the amount of fuel they are sending, the utility said.

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The impacted pipeline is one of multiple sources We Energies uses to receive natural gas. On a typical day, an issue like this would not require customers to reduce their usage. However, with extreme cold setting in over much of the U.S., We Energies said it is unable to receive additional natural gas from its other pipeline suppliers.

We Energies has already taken numerous steps to reduce demand for natural gas, the release said, including drawing from its liquefied natural gas and propane storage facilities, and reducing natural gas to business customers who have agreed to special billing in these types of events.

We Energies strongly urges customers to reduce their natural gas use by lowering their thermostats and avoid using other natural gas appliances like fireplaces, dryers or ovens.

The company is working to maintain service to emergency and critical facilities. Customers should take the following actions to help reduce natural gas demand:

  • Set thermostats between 60 to 62 degrees. Add layers or blankets to keep warm when lowering a thermostat’s temperature.
  • Close blinds or drapes at night and avoid opening doors to retain heat. Open blinds during the day to let in heat from the sun.
  • Avoid using secondary natural gas heating sources, such as natural gas fireplaces.
  • Use natural gas ranges sparingly. Prepare food with slow cookers or microwaves.

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We Energies said it expects the shortage will last throughout the rest of the day Friday and will be reassessed Saturday.

Statement from We Energies:

We truly appreciate and thank our customers for your understanding and patience as we work to manage these challenging conditions and keep all of our customers safe and warm.

We will be working tirelessly to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

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