Idaho power usage increasing with heat and population increases

“At the end of the day, our system has been taxed but it’s doing well.”
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 5:36 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — When Sandy Amdor and her husband returned from a road trip to the Oregon Coast, they turned on their A/C for some much-needed relief from the heat.

But their system broke while they were away.

“And then we come home from a long day on the road, and it was probably about ninety-three degrees in the house,” said Amdor. “Not exactly ideal.”

With elevated temperatures and a larger population increasing the strain on Idaho’s power grid this summer, is there any chance more Idahoans end up in Amdor’s shoes without A/C?

“We’ve been working hard to ensure there is no interruption in service and certainly customers have helped out with conservation,” said Idaho Power C.O.O. Adam Richins. “But, at the end of the day, our system has been taxed but it’s doing well.”

Idaho Power has reported record-setting power usage on the hottest days of summer, some days close to ten percent higher than records in the past.

“We’ve just seen a lot more people move here which means a lot more people using energy so it’s those two things that are causing us to hit these peaks,” Richin said.

So as people continue to move to the state is Idaho’s power grid at risk of becoming like others across the country, subject to rolling blackouts or power outages?

“I’m not as concerned about Idaho,” said University of Idaho professor Brian Johnson. “I think that because Idaho has stayed a little bit more regulated on the power side, than some other states, I think that helps.”

While concern is still low, Idaho Power does ask customers to moderate their energy use and continue to use energy-efficient items.

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