Your power bill could reflect the ongoing drought in the Midwest. Paul Johnston with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says hydro-power dams upriver on the Missouri provide power for a distribution grid in several states including western Iowa, but they aren’t generating at full capacity because of the river’s sluggish flow.
The Western Area Power Administration in July had to buy about two-point-seven-million dollars worth of electricity because they weren’t generating as much at the dams. WAPA, the Western Area Power Administration, buys extra power on the open market to fulfill its contracts to provide electricity.
Since many air conditioners in homes and offices are consuming peak amounts of electricity right now, Johnston says market rules of supply and demand affect the price of electricity. Eventually, he says, that kind of increase gets handed off to the users. That could mean late-summer power bills that are the highest of the year for some ratepayers. Johnston says there’s little getting around it.
After all, most air conditioners are powered by electricity. He admits there are some A-C systems that are powered by natural gas, but not very many. There are also Iowa power plants on the Missouri, and the two stations in Sioux City and one at Council Bluffs will produce less than capacity. They can’t use much of the river’s water because there are limits to how much the plants can affect the raising of the water temperature