We Energies has lifted its natural gas restrictions as of 6 o’clock Saturday morning.
In a statement the energy provider said the interstate pipeline issue had been rectified & said customers could go back to regularly heating their homes.
We Energies had asked customers to lower their thermostats to the 60 to 62 degree range Friday night after issues arose with their Guardian pipeline.
ORIGINAL POST: 7PM
UPDATE: We Energies director of media relations Brendan Conway released this statement to WTMJ:
“Thanks to the efforts we took and our customers’ response to our broad public appeal to turn down their thermostats, the system has stabilized. However, we are still asking customers to keep their thermostats lowered overnight.”
The utility says it will provide an update on Saturday morning.
UPDATE: ONEOK released this statement to WTMJ:
“Earlier today, [the Guardian pipeline] experienced two valve malfunctions at its Sycamore compressor station in DeKalb County, Illinois, which resulted in reduced capacity on our system.
Our crews are focused on resolving the issue and restoring capacity in a timely manner. One valve has been restored to service, and we continue working on the second.”
MILWAUKEE – In an unprecedented move, We Energies is asking all customers to lower their thermostats to 62 or 60 degrees despite the frigid temperatures.
This request is due to an “significant equipment failure” at ONEOK, one of the interstate pipeline suppliers who provides natural gas to We Energies. The failure is limiting the amount of fuel they are able to supply to We Energies. WTMJ has reached out to ONEOK for more details.
Spokesperson Alison Truoy said that this request is the first of its kind in the history of the company.
Despite We Energies receiving natural gas from multiple sources, the extreme cold across the nation is preventing the utility from making up the shortage with gas from its other suppliers. The company is expecting the shortage to last at least the rest of Friday, December 23 and they will re-evaluate the situation on Saturday, December 24.
Truoy said that how long the shortage lasts will depend on how many people respond to the request and allow We Energies to conserve the natural gas that they do have.
We Energies said 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.
The company said it is working to maintain service to emergency and critical facilities.