What is a Power Watch or Power Warning? What is the difference?
Do you offer any repair services?
I am a homeowner and planning a project that requires digging. Do I really need to find out about underground utility locations?
How can I use electricity most efficiently?
The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) requires electric utilities to warn customers in the event of potential or actual electrical supply emergencies. These are extreme measures. We hope the condition never arises but you need to be aware of the potential so you can respond appropriately in an emergency.
A Power Watch is a condition where the potential exists for electric energy demand to exceed electric energy supply. If a Power Watch is issued, MP&W will ask residential, commercial, and industrial customers to voluntarily cut back on electric energy usage by turning off or cutting back the usage of electrical energy-intensive appliances, such as air conditioners, electric ranges, and electric dryers.
A Power Warning is an urgent and mandatory call to customers to reduce energy usage because, at the time the warning is issued, the electric energy demand is actually exceeding electric energy supply. If a Power Warning is issued, MP&W customers must immediately take action to curtail electricity usage except for essential needs.
We replace small fuses free of charge and repair most brands of 240-volt electric ranges, ovens, and water heaters for electric utility customers. Before any work is done, our service person will diagnose the problem and discuss it with you. The only charge is the cost of the parts. Appointments can be scheduled during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, by calling 263-2631.
Yes – it is the law. Whether you are a homeowner or general contractor, using a spade or a backhoe, building a deck, a house, a patio, or just planting a shrub, if you're planning a project in Iowa that involves digging, you must get in touch with Iowa One at 1-800-292-8989. Call 48 hours before you dig. Phone operators are available 24 hours a day, and the utility location service is free. You may also make one easy call to 811 from anywhere in the U.S. and your call will be routed to the appropriate call center. One Call center operators notify the appropriate utilities then the utility companies send a professional to mark lines at no charge.
Stay at least 24 inches away from the marked lines when you start digging. If you're planting a tree, remember to consider the length of the roots as the tree matures, and don't plant larger trees below overhead power lines.
You can lower your electric bill. Here are a few things to try. Go to the Energy Efficiency section for more ways to save energy.
Air Conditioner (avg. 900 kWh/month based on six hours/day)
1. Set your thermostat at 78º F during the day.
2. Turn your air conditioner off during the afternoons when you are not at home.
3. Buy cooling equipment with a high energy efficiency rating.
4. Clean and replace filters regularly.
5. Close your drapes and blinds during the day.
6. Make sure your attic is insulated.
Electric Water Heater (avg. 400 kWh/month)
1. Turn your water heater's thermostat down. If you have a dishwasher, 140º F is recommended. If not, 120º F is adequate. Turn to "pilot" when you go on vacation.
2. Install a water heater blanket on the water heater and pipe insulation on the first five feet of pipe coming out of the water heater.
Refrigerators/Freezers (avg. 150 kWh/month for 16 cu.ft. frost-free)
1. Keep your refrigerator door closed as much as possible.
2. Make sure your unit seals properly.
3. Periodically clean the condenser coils.
4. Do not allow frost to build up.
5. Try to keep the refrigerator full (an empty refrigerator uses more energy).
Clothes Dryer (avg. 79 kWh/month)
1. Avoid overloading.
2. Clean the lint filter between every load.
3. Try shorter drying times.
Electric Stove (avg. 62 kWh/month if used to cook three meals per day)
1. Cut preheating time.
2. Use a timer and keep the door closed.
3. Prepare complete meals rather than just baking one item at a time.
4. Never use your oven or stove to heat your kitchen.