Energy firms in Minnesota and Detroit have urged customers to turn their thermostats down to help conserve gas. The Midwest has been hit by a deep freeze over the past two days that has brought record low temperatures and left at least eight people dead. Xcel Energy resorted to asking more than 400,000 Minnesota customers to turn their thermostats down to 63 degrees as it strained to keep up with demand, according to the Star Tribune. “The unprecedented cold and wind that we’re dealing with in Minnesota has customers running their heat almost nonstop which really increases demand on our system,” Xcel said in a statement. Meanwhile, in Detroit, DTE Energy asked its customers to reduce electricity usage and Consumers Energy sent an urgent text alert to customers Wednesday night urging them to lower thermostats. General Motors was also asked by Consumers Energy to suspend operations due to the threat of a natural gas shortage.