Translate this website:

Unprecedented Cold Temperatures Leading to Electric Grid Deficiencies

  • Posted: 02.15.2021

UPDATE 2/17/21 - 10:40AM

SPP has set its Emergency Energy Alerts (EEA) to Level 2 to its member utilities. As of this morning, NIPCO will not be controlling the load management meters and HCREC has resumed normal operations. We will continue to provide updates on our website and Facebook page as the ever-changing situation continues. We are expecting conditions to return to normal on Thursday as temperatures begin to rise.

As previously stated, we continue to encourage our members to practice energy-saving measures during upcoming critical hours to help curtail the risk of unplanned power outages. Electric Cooperatives throughout the NIPCO region (Western Iowa) have been affected by the arctic temperature changes and are working together to help restore the electric load.


UPDATE 2/16/21 - 12:15PM -

NIPCO has stopped its load control operations as an effort to curtail energy consumption through interrupting operations to water heaters and electric heat. These actions saved approximately 29 megawatts (MW) of electric load.

We thank all of our members for their patience and understanding through these unprecedented times and everyone’s continued efforts to minimize electric usage to avoid outages in the extreme cold.

As the situation evolves, HCREC will continue to post updates on our webpage as well as on our Facebook page as we receive them.

UPDATE 2/16/21 – 9:30am –

Harrison County REC has received notice that SPP has ordered our power supplier to begin electric load shed measures.

What this means for members:

  • Members who are part of the Switch Makes Cents load management program will notice their electric heat and water heaters experiencing intermittent power interruption.

Harrison County REC encourages ALL members to continue energy-saving measures to help reduce peak demand for the electric grid. This includes

  • Closing the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Wearing multiple warm and loose layers of clothing to stay warm.
  • Leaving curtains, blinds, and/or shades open in direct sunlight to warm the room and close them at night to prevent heat loss through the windows.
  • Allowing heat to circulate around meters and pipes located near outside walls, in uninsulated cabinets, or other enclosed areas. Where previous freeze-ups have been a problem, a slight trickle of water from the faucet may keep a pipe from freezing.
  • Refraining from using clothes washers, dishwashers, electric vehicle chargers, or any other electronic appliances.

UPDATE 2/15/21 - 6:15pm -

Harrison County REC will not be subject to planned outages. However, our power supplier will need to continue to reduce energy use and the first step in doing so will be seen through additional load control measures specifically through controlling of water heaters. NIPCO feels that load control measures will adequately cover the power reduction that could be needed throughout our system. What this means for our members is that they may notice that their water heaters will shut off for longer periods of time.

With the circumstances being unprecedented and ever-evolving, the situation may change as time goes on. In the extreme instance that we need to reduce a drastic amount of electric load, our power supplier will begin with rolling outages beginning with the more remote substation areas to reduce large impacts on our system. Again – we continue to strongly urge our members to take measures to reduce their electric usage to help balance the electric load. Members can check our website and Facebook page for continued updates and HCREC will provide information as quickly as we are able.

UPDATE 2/15/21 - 3:45pm -

Extreme Cold Weather Update:

Dropping temperatures have created energy deficiencies in the Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) region which has the potential to affect Harrison County REC and its members. To avoid energy saving outage measures, we strongly encourage our members to lower their energy consumption wherever possible. Please note that should HCREC have to execute energy-saving measures including power-saving outages, we will not be able to notify each member prior to doing so.

How can members help to avoid planned outages?

    • If you are healthy enough to do so, turn down your thermostat by 3 degrees.
    • To help stay warm, wear multiple warm and loose layers of clothing.
    • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
    • Leave curtains, blinds, and/or shades open in direct sunlight to warm the room and close them at night to prevent heat loss through the windows.
    • To avoid frozen pipes, allow heat to circulate around meters and pipes located near outside walls, in uninsulated cabinets, or other enclosed areas.
    • Where previous freeze-ups have been a problem, a slight trickle of water from the faucet may keep a pipe from freezing.
    • Refrain from using clothes washers, dishwashers, electric vehicle chargers, or any other electronic appliances.

Harrison County REC is currently working with our power suppliers to determine how these deficiencies will affect our membership and service territory. We will do our best to keep our membership updated and informed with information as quickly as possible. Members can stay tuned to our website and Facebook page where more information will be posted as we receive it.