Supply-chain issues leaving contractors, electric companies waiting 52+ weeks for power

Electric power transformer
Electric power transformer(KVLY)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The supply shortage continues across the U.S. for contractors and builders from lumber, to windows and doors, and now experts say you can add power to that list.

Cass County Electric says a shortage of several parts and products has wait times more than a year out, and the company is telling contractors new developments, homes and buildings may not see power until 2023.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Kevin Bunn, Cass County Electric Manager of Purchasing and Facilities said.

In a year, officials say the company installs about 200 single-phase transformers. However, the supply shortage of both transformers and all the gadgets inside means the company will get their hands on less than half of what they need this year. To make it all worse, some transformers are back ordered for 160 weeks.

“We’ll be able to respond to outages. We have the materials to respond and make repairs. It’s basically new construction that’s going to suffer the most,” Bunn said.

Bunn says Cass County Electric has a $10 million worth of inventory as a back-up to hopefully get them through until the supply chain is fixed, but that inventory doesn’t cover any new projects contractors may be brainstorming.

“I’ve not seen it across the board like this. I’ve seen delays, many delays, but not like 25 items,” he said.

Contractors our news team spoke with today say while the shortage is frustrating, it’s no surprise as they’ve been dealing with other supply-chain issues for months. They add the shortage doesn’t impact too much of what they already have approved and in the works both this summer and fall. However, they say if things aren’t resolved after that, they may be in a tougher spot.

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