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electricity conservation

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Margaret Lewis is a retired court reporter who lives in a big, older home in Highland Park -- the kind you say has "good bones," because it needs some work. 

She's on a fixed income, and she's done just about everything she can think of to lower her utility bills. 

One winter she even turned the thermostat down to 50 degrees.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update: Thursday, January 31, 5:09 p.m.

Consumers Energy says residential customers can turn their thermostats back up after midnight on Thursday. The utility requests that people keep their thermostats at 65 degrees or below until midnight.

Original post: Thursday January 31, 7:20 a.m.  

Frigid temperatures across the Midwest are putting stress on the electric grid for Michigan and part or all of 14 other states.

MISO - the group which runs the electric grid for the region - declared a "maximum generation event" Wednesday.

That means electric demand is very high, so utilities are being asked to take a number of steps to conserve electricity - including urging customers to reduce their electricity usage.