EXTREME WEATHER ALERT FROM YOUR COOPERATIVE
CVEC Members –
Over the next few days, as the Midwest faces a continual stretch of cold weather, we are being called upon to assist our fellow utilities. Due to recent weather events, we are experiencing increasing demands as our region faces an unprecedented level of demand upon the power grid, which means there are power supply concerns in some areas. This is because it is so cold and so widespread. Mother Nature is not only impacting Iowa but also as far south as Texas and east as Pennsylvania.
Rest assured, your electric cooperative and our generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives, which we purchase power from, have done everything we needed to ensure we have reliable power to meet our members' demands. Also, we have a diverse portfolio mix, which is exceptionally important at a time like this, in order to call upon various resources – nuclear, coal, natural gas, combined cycle gas, and renewables.
Our G&T cooperatives work within a much larger regional transmission footprint. As such, our G&Ts have been asked to assist in helping the system strain to avoid potential blackouts. This is a three-tiered approach system. Our G&T elevated the EEA Level yesterday afternoon, which we announced to our members asking for voluntary conservations. I am sure you heard in the news other utilities experienced rolling outages.
As the weather continues to be in the sub-zero temperatures in our area and across the Midwest, we are receiving word from our G&T, who serves cooperatives in Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma to prepare for EEA Level 3 today.
While a controlled service interruption is the last resort for any utility provider, it is necessary to reduce energy demand by an amount needed to prevent further and uncontrolled power interruptions. Should that occur, CVEC will work with Northeast Power to determine how best to curtail use by the required amount based on our emergency operating plans.
As a member or business-owner, what can you expect? While CVEC usually gives notice for planned outages, we are not able to give notice in these situations because our power suppliers are required to act immediately. We will try to make the interruption as brief as possible. You should anticipate a 30-40 minute outage on a rotating basis.
We encourage our members to prepare for an outage by keeping blankets handy and flashlights available.
You can continue to assist by conserving energy, which may help us avoid elevating to an EEA Level:
Turn down your thermostat a few degrees and use a blanket or warm clothing to help conserve and stay warm.
Limit the use of larger appliances such as laundry or dishwashers.
Use smaller kitchen appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, and slow cookers to make meals, rather than relying on your range or oven.
Be sure to turn off and unplug space heaters that you don't need to use. Be mindful of the amount of time you utilize a space heater and reduce, if possible.
Keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use.
Unplug/turn off unused electronics, chargers, and lights.