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MidAmerican Energy prepares for increased demand during heat wave

"We're in a pretty good spot here in Iowa," said a MidAmerican Energy spokesperson. That's thanks to a healthy supply of renewable energy sources.

DES MOINES, Iowa — As temperatures continue to rise, Iowans are worried about staying cool. According to MidAmerican Energy, that should be no sweat. 

MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Geoff Greenwood said this is something they deal with every summer. He expects the power grid to easily handle customers' demand, as long as renewables can hold up their end of the deal. 

"For many years now, we've been adding to our wind fleet," Greenwood said. "And so wind is a significant part of our energy portfolio."

Wind energy isn't the only form of renewable energy MidAmerican has up its sleeve. 

"We've added solar in this last year, and of course, we have our traditional thermal resources as well," Greenwood said. "And when you combine all of those, we're in a pretty good spot here in Iowa."

In mid-June, breezes will help keep people cool, while also keeping the air conditioning cranking inside. 

Contingency plans are in place for when the wind calms down and heat continues to blaze on, Greenwood said. 

"We've got backup generation that we can use. Additionally, we can ask some commercial and industrial customers who have signed up for a better rate to start reducing their demand, which is a significant amount of energy," Greenwood said.

One way households can help save energy is by joining MidAmerican's SummerSaver program. The program entails allowing MidAmerican to control your air conditioning unit on the hottest weekdays between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

Not only will participants help save energy, they can also earn up to $30 annually. To sign up for the program, visit the 'My Account' page on the MidAmerican website.

Only once all of these options had been exhausted would MidAmerican ask the public to reduce energy usage. A rolling blackout would be the last resort, Greenwood said.  

"It hasn't happened here," Greenwood said. "And we're not seeing that in the cards."

For more information on staying cool, check out these tips from Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

  • Set your thermostat to a consistent temperature. Programmed temperature changes will force your system to work harder to keep up with demand.
  • Replace your air filter and set your fan to ON instead of AUTO. This will ensure maximum airflow to all parts of your home.
  • Make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit is free from any debris and the coil is clean.
  • Keep windows & blinds closed. Limit opening your doors.
  • Limit the use of heat generating appliances like your oven, dryer and dishwasher. Keep use of these to the cooler evening hours.
  • Make sure all vents are open and free from any obstruction.
  • Finally, if you see ice forming on any part of your air conditioner – turn off the system so it can thaw and call for service.

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