Utility companies across Iowa are keeping an eye on the impact of the hot temperatures to make sure there is enough energy to meet the demand. MidAmerican Energy spokesperson, Tina Pothoff, says usage has increased as the temperatures have soared.
“We haven’t come close to the last record summer peak that we had. MidAmerican Energy Company’s last record summer peak was just last year. July 19th as a matter of fact, 2011. Customers used about 4,700 megawatts of electricity,” Pothoff says. The company has several things they can do to help cut the load when demand goes up.
“One is the summer saver program. We have about 65,000 residential customers that are a part of that program. And that’s a way for us to save energy use and reduce peak demand,” Pothoff says. “What happens is there’s a device on their air conditioners that allows us to then cycle their air conditioners on and off while keeping the fan blowing and keeping their homes cool.”
She says they also have a curtailment program for their large industrial customers that also helps cut demand during peak usage. Pothoff says there are plenty of ways individual homeowners can cut energy usage, but you have to be sure you are using them.
“Many people have programmable thermostats, they just don’t set them. So make sure that you have yours set in your home. Another thing that you can do is block the sun. On hot sunny days close your drapes, blinds or shades, particularly those on the south and west side of your home,” according to Pothoff. She says you should also delay running your dishwasher or other appliances that generate heat until the morning or evening.
For more information on energy usage tips go to: www.midamericanenergy.com.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City