Tri States Public Radio Staff
Business Owner says Test Unnecessary
Mon August 12, 2013
Alliant Energy Program Questioned
Business owners in southeast Iowa are raising concerns about a rate reduction program offered by Alliant Energy.
Businesses and industries participating in the company's Interruptible Program agree to power down their operations on extremely hot days in exchange for discounted electric rates.
It has been more than one year, though, since an interruption was needed.
That prompted Alliant Energy to alert participants, in early August, that a test would occur before mid-September.
The test would last less than four hours and the businesses/industries would be told of the interruption several hours in advance.
Pat Boyd, who is the President of Morse Rubber in Keokuk, says businesses should not be forced to possibly shut down for a day to test a system that has worked in the past.
"Who would have ever thought they would do something so silly and wasteful," says Boyd.
Boyd also disagrees with the fact that businesses or industries cannot buy-out of the test, which is an option during a request to power down on hot days.
A spokesperson for Alliant Energy says the program has been in place for more than 10 years, with the testing requirement being implemented in 2006.
Boyd says he has reached out to government leaders to see what can be done to prevent the tests.
He has also contact local businesses and industries, many of which he says share his concerns.
The Iowa Utilities Board said, through an emailed statement, that its staff is looking into the issue, even though it has received no complaints at this time.