UPDATE: We Energy said Saturday morning that the amount of natural gas being shipped to Wisconsin by interstate pipelines has returned to levels that should meet the needs of all customers, so the company is no longer asking customers to use their Reduce natural gas usage.
Brendan Conway, spokesman for We Energy, said in a statement that because customers complied with the request Friday evening to lower the thermostat to 62 or below, no customers lost the ability to heat their homes.
“We really appreciate the awareness of our customers throughout this event,” Conway said.
Amid sub-zero temperatures, more than a million We Energy customers in Wisconsin are being asked to conserve natural gas due to pipeline malfunctions.
We asked our energy customers to immediately turn their thermostats down to 62 degrees or lower Friday evening to avoid widespread service outages.
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Guardian Pipeline notified customers Friday that it has limited the flow of gas north on one of its interstate pipelines due to unplanned maintenance at a compressor station in Illinois.
Brendan Conway, spokesman for Us Energy, said Guardian had cut the utility’s gas supply by 30%.
Conway said the work has come from liquefied natural gas and propane storage facilities and reduced gas deliveries to commercial customers whose contracts allow for service interruptions. But because of the severe cold that has gripped much of the country, the utility has been unable to get gas from other pipeline suppliers.
A spokesman for the pipeline company said that as of Friday night, one of the two damaged valves had been repaired and crews were working on the second to restore capacity “in a timely manner.”
We Energy said it would reassess the situation and update customers on Saturday. There were no updates as of 6 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to turning off thermostats, the company asked residents to avoid using secondary gas heaters, ovens, stoves and clothes dryers.
The National Weather Service predicted temperatures ranging from zero to 14 in Wisconsin Friday night with highs mostly in the single digits, with much of the state under a wind chill advisory.