The heat wave across Iowa has air conditioners and fans working hard and that’s using a lot of electricity. MidAmerican Energy communications director, Ann Thielan says electric usage jumped up to around to 4,500 megawatts Monday afternoon.

She says during the weekend they were running around 4,000 megawatts, compared to last week, where it was registering around 35 to 3,800 with normal summer temperatures. Not only did the thermometer climb with the midday heat, Thielen said Monday it was evident that this heat isn’t dropping off much overnight, as she says they were already seeing some high usage numbers in the morning.

Thielen says they should have enough extra capacity to handle the heavier load. Thielen says they have more than 7,000 megawatts of generation capacity, and some of that is wind, which is not there when there are high temperatures and little wind, but she says they have more than enough generation capacity. Thielen says they have a program that cycles off some of the energy use.

Thielen says customers who sign up have their air conditioners cycled off every 10 to 15 minutes during weekdays. The fan on the cooling system keeps running, but the air conditioner does not keep running constantly. Thielen asks customers to take whatever steps they can to conserve energy while still staying cool.