Similar to the last several years, the summer of 2022 is predicted to have above-average temperatures driving increased usage of air conditioning during the hottest summer days. This year, we have been hearing questions about the grid and its ongoing reliability from members at home.

For Connexus Energy, this year is not much different than last year or previous years regarding the number and variety of risks managed by our expert staff to provide reliable electric service. There are changing dynamics on the bulk grid—decommissioning of older power plants, increasing renewables, and even some transmission congestion. The organization that operates the regional grid, MISO, and local experts successfully manage and respond to these factors. Always on our “radar” are wildlife, car crashes, and vegetation (particularly blown down by storms) which account for nearly two thirds of all unplanned electric service interruptions on the Connexus grid. Happily, Connexus members on average experience an unplanned, temporary power outage just once every 3.6 years.

In fact, Connexus Energy’s electric service reliability is in the top three percent of all utilities nationwide. We have deeply experienced and committed staff, living right here in our community, as well as innovative programs and modern grid infrastructure, controls, and telemetry that enables us to deliver high quality service to all of our members.

With all electricity questions or concerns, we advise our members to consult the experts here at your electric utility. As a nonprofit electric cooperative, that’s been serving this community since 1937—more than 85 years—our priorities are always to provide affordable, reliable, resilient, and safe services to members. 

What you can do to help grid reliability

  • Take action to manage your use on the hottest days. Sign up for Connexus Energy’s Peak-Time Rebate program and install a Wi-Fi thermostat to help manage and reduce electric use throughout the summer months.
  • Support our initiatives regarding tree trimming near power lines and ensure there’s 6 feet of space around any green utility boxes on or near your property.
  • Almost 20% of damage to Connexus’ grid is caused by automobile crashes, dig-ins, or other forms of public damage. Drive safe and ensure that you, or any contractors, call 811 before you dig.

How you can be prepared

  • Read Connexus’ Frequently Asked Questions about power outages. 
  • Download and install the Connexus Energy app for your smart phone (iOS and Android), then sign up for outage alerts. Be in control and let our systems notify you right away.
  • If appropriate, work with a physician to complete and sign the Medically Necessary Equipment Form

Delivery of electricity across much of the US and Canada is managed in part by regional grid Independent System Operators (ISOs). Note the size of these grids in the map above—smaller regional grids like Texas and California have challenges managing electrical service interruptions from severe weather and wildlife. In contrast, the Midcontinent ISO can share resources more widely when adverse conditions affect one or two states within their footprint.
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