V Energies asks more than one million Wisconsin customers to conserve natural gas after pipeline failure

Amid sub-zero temperatures, more than one million V Energy customers in Wisconsin are being asked to conserve natural gas due to a pipeline fault

V Energies asked its customers to immediately lower their thermostats to 62 degrees or lower Friday evening to prevent widespread service outages.

Guardian Pipelines notified customers on Friday that unplanned maintenance at a compressor station in Illinois had disrupted the northbound flow of gas on one of its interstate pipelines.

V Energy spokesman Brendan Conway told the Guardian the utility’s gas supply had been cut by 30%.

Conway said the utility is drawing liquefied gas and propane from storage facilities and has cut gas deliveries to business customers whose contracts allow service interruptions. But due to extreme cold in most parts of the country, the utility is unable to get gas from other pipeline suppliers.

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A spokeswoman for the pipeline company said one of the two malfunctioning valves had been restored as of Friday night and crews were working on the other to restore capacity in a “timely manner.”

V Energies said it would reevaluate the situation and update customers on Saturday. No update was given till 6 am on Saturday.

In addition to turning down thermostats, the company asked residents to avoid using secondary gas heaters, ovens, stoves and clothes dryers.

The National Weather Service was forecasting temperatures down to minus 14 across Wisconsin on Friday night and mostly in the single digits, with much of the state under a wind chill advisory.

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