Energy demand sets new record in Iowa


Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), an Alliant Energy company, has announced that usage in its “West Control Area” set a record Wednesday, July 25.   

According to preliminary data, the new record peak is 3,724 megawatts set at 5 p.m. on July 25, 2012.  The previous record peak of 3,699 megawatts was set one year ago on July 18, 2011. Before that, the record was 

3,666 set on Aug. 20, 2003. The West Control Area includes power consumed by IPL customers in Iowa and Minnesota as well as customers of Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), which operates across the state of Iowa.

  “We work very hard to meet customer demands in this heat, and I am happy to say we’ve met the record demand while reaching our key goal of providing customers with reliable service,” said Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Light Company. “A number of days with high energy usage this summer remind us that an ample supply of electric generation is critical for our customers today and in the future.”

  IPL did exercise its interruptible contracts with industrial customers and also activated its cycling program to reduce load from residential central air conditioners. Interruptible customers receive lower rates throughout the year in exchange for voluntarily agreeing to limit or reduce energy use in periods of high demand.  Residential customers participating in the load control program receive credits on their bill for allowing their air conditioners to be shut off remotely for 15-minute intervals during periods of high electrical demand.

  Another record was set Wednesday for the number of times Alliant Energy has used its appliance cycling program in a year. The cycling program is triggered when temperatures reach a certain degree in various parts of the state. IPL divides its Iowa territory into three zones, northern, central, and southern. As of Wednesday, IPL had cycled appliances in the central zone 12 times. The other zones have been cycled nine times.

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