In wake of severe wind chill temperatures, Michigan State is attempting to cut back on gas consumption.
MSU Culinary Services is changing dining hall menus to require less cooking time and the university is reducing the temperatures in academic and administrative buildings, Deputy Spokesperson Heather Young said. Administration also cancelled classes on Wednesday and Thursday due to the dangerously low temperatures and poor road conditions, and only critical employees are reporting to work.
The state government sent out an emergency Wednesday night, asking everyone in Michigan to lower their heat to at least 65 degrees or less through Friday.
"Due to statewide efforts to reduce natural gas usage, MSU is working with Consumers Energy to reduce usage across campus," Young said via email. "MSU is taking many proactive steps to help manage the crisis."
Young said the university has reduced energy use by 16 percent at the T. B. Simon Power plant, has stopped linen services for Thursday, has modified dining services and has reduced heat to 65 degrees in academic and administrative buildings.
MSU also shut the hot water down in some buildings — including Berkey Hall, Bessey Hall and Erickson Hall — as a part of the effort.
However, heat in the residence halls has not been impacted, Young said. The dining hall menus have been modified for Thursday to conserve energy by not requiring as much heat.
"With the ongoing gas shortage in Michigan, MSU has been asked to assist in reducing our overall gas consumption on campus through Friday morning," the Eat at State website said. "Breakfast on Jan. 31, 2019, will be continental style, with pre-prepared or cold foods only. This will allow us to save gas by turning cooking hoods on later. Lunch will also have some menu modifications, prioritizing foods that require less cooking time."
The class cancellations were due to the extreme cold temperatures and severe road conditions. The university has only suspended classes seven times before.
Classes are expected to resume on Friday, Feb. 1, according to a university press release.