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Potential Energy Shortfall Forecasted by Regional Power Grid Operator

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2022

Potential Energy Shortfall Summer 2022

Families and businesses across the Midwest may be affected by an energy shortfall this summer.  

Cedar Falls Utilities and many utilities in the Midwest are members of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO manages a large portion of the electric grid throughout Iowa and the surrounding states. 

MISO recently issued an alert that the Midwest region may not be able to generate enough electricity during peak demand times this summer. Peak electric demand usually occurs when temperatures are high and lots of electricity is used to cool buildings. 

If an energy shortfall occurs, utilities across the Midwest, including CFU and other local utilities, could be called on to run electric generating plants and cut energy demand. 

In extreme cases, limited, controlled power outages (rolling blackouts) may be required. Outages are unlikely but if necessary would cycle throughout the community in short increments around an hour in length.

“CFU is doing everything we can to prevent service interruptions,” said Steve Bernard, CFU General Manager. “We want customers to understand the situation so they can be prepared to conserve energy if needed.”

Communities across the Midwest would be called on to reduce energy demand to maintain grid reliability if an energy shortfall occurs. In that situation, CFU will work with large business customers to temporarily cut energy usage and may call on residential customers to conserve energy. This would typically happen during peak demand times in the afternoons and early evenings. 

Simple actions can help if energy conservation is necessary: 

  • Turn your air conditioner off or turn the temperature up to 78 degrees or higher
  • Avoid using large appliances like your washer, dryer and dishwasher

If utilities across our region are forced to implement limited, controlled outages, CFU will give customers as much advance notice as possible. Outages would only occur in extreme circumstances. 

Power would be maintained at key public safety facilities. If you have critical medical or communications equipment, it is important to be prepared with a battery backup or alternative location.

If an energy shortfall occurs, CFU will reach out through public and social media communications. We will also contact customers through direct, automated messaging in the form of a phone call, text message notification through the CFU2Go app. 

CFU customers should make sure cell phone numbers are updated in utility records. To check or update the phone number listed in your CFU account, call customer service at 319-268-5280. Or login to your online utility account and check your “My Profile” information. 

CFU also encourages customers to download the CFU2Go outage reporting app. The CFU2Go app allows customers to report and view utility and internet outages and provides customers with system-wide notices. You can download the app by visiting cfu.net/app.

Residents who want to learn more can visit cfu.net/energy or call customer service at 319-268-5280.

Learn more about CFU's membership in MISO.