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Energy companies in Michigan prepared for this heat wave, and are planning for the next one

What to know about extreme heat-related illnesses amid heat wave
What to know about extreme heat-related illnesses amid heat wave 04:41

(CBS DETROIT) - Metro Detroit labored under its third consecutive day of 90-plus-degree heat Wednesday, as the region continues one of the most brutally hot stretches it's seen in decades. As of yet, the power grid has been holding up for most residents.

The name of the game is preparedness when it comes to keeping the electricity on during a heat wave. 

"Even when we have weeks like this, when temperatures are climbing and people have to use more sustained amounts of energy, we're definitely prepared for that," said Tracy Wimmer, a spokesperson for Consumers Energy in Lansing. "What we do is we make sure to front-load the access we have got this time of year. We know that in the summer there will be electric usage because more people are using air conditioners. We know that in the winter there will be more natural gas usage. And that's just kind of how it goes when you live in a state like Michigan."

Utility companies have whole teams monitoring the weather, dispatching teams preemptively and communicating with other states in case Michigan needs extra help. 

Wimmer told CBS News Detroit that, in the long term, energy companies like Consumers Energy have to adapt.    

"Knowing that the weather systems are changing and that we're going to see more intense weather over the years, we have to make the investments now because it's going to be much worse and much more costly down the road if we don't," she said. 

According to Wimmer, Michiganders shouldn't need to worry as much about overtaxing the power grid as they should about their own usage and costs. 

"A lot of little things that can save a lot of money down the road, even things like making sure that you're using your dishwasher or your dryer, or things that are using a lot of energy, at times like the morning or the night instead of the middle of the afternoon. Those things together, when you're already using the air conditioning in the hottest part of the day, can really make a big difference on your bill," she said.

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