Cold weather, heating season arrived early this year

Snow-Cold-ThermometerThe recent cold weather is more typical of December.

The end of October and early November were 50% colder than normal for this time of year, and the next few weeks are forecast to be at least 50% colder than normal.

That means that furnaces and heating equipment are working harder than usual for this time of year, and they will use more energy. As a result, customers can expect heating bills to be more typical of December than late October.

Higher heating bills means it’s time to think about Budget Billing and ways to increase the comfort of your home.

Even out your bill amounts

furnaceSign up for Budget Billing. Take the volatility and surprise elements out of your heating bill. You can even out your heating bills by signing up for Budget Billing. The program will average your usage and send you a set billing amount each month. There are two true-ups per year.

Increase comfort

Use ceiling fans. They can help push down warm air from near the ceiling and distribute it around the room, so the space requires less heat.

Seal the leaks and close the gaps. Caulk, seal and weather-strip doors and windows.

Turn fans off. Kitchen and bath-ventilating fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if left on. Turn them off after they’ve done their job.

Switch to low-E windows. Install low-E windows and reduce drafts, noise and heat loss. Wisconsin customers can take advantage of a 25% discount at participating retailers. Visit focusonenergy.com/low-estorms

Control costs

Install a programmable thermostat. Or program the one you already have. Set it so your heating costs will go down when you are away or asleep. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60- to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5% on heating costs. Rebates may be available in Wisconsin and Iowa.

Be careful with space heaters. Space heaters only save money if their use is restricted to a small area and you turn down your central heating for the rest of the house.

Tune up equipment

Replace your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Changing or cleaning your filter once a month helps your bill and the quality of air you breathe.

Schedule a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use.

Apply for financial assistance

Income-eligible Alliant Energy customers can apply for financial help with heating bills:

 

Alliant Energy’s plan accelerates renewable energy in Wisconsin

Our Powering What’s Next plan, released today, will accelerate the transition to cleaner energy for our customers.Solar-Panel-Reflection

The plan highlights our five key areas of focus in helping customers and communities participate in a more sustainable, technology-intensive energy future: clean energy; customer choice; smarter energy use; community involvement and conversions to cleaner fuels. Customers and other stakeholders will be able to learn more about the approach through a new website: alliantenergy.com/poweringwhatsnext.

“We’re accelerating our transition to a clean energy future and putting renewable energy to work for our customers,” said John Larsen, Chairman, President and CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation. “For more than 100 years, our mission has been to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy services. Powering What’s Next is our purpose-driven approach to serving customers and strengthening communities, creating optimism for the future.”

The first milestone of the plan expands our Wisconsin solar energy generation by up to 1,000 megawatts by the end of 2023. That’s enough to power approximately 260,000 homes. We’re considering projects located throughout our Wisconsin service area. Changing economics, customer sustainability goals and better renewable technology are driving the acceleration.

We will locate our first Wisconsin Community Solar in Fond du Lac County and break ground in 2020. “By building new solar energy resources, we are contributing to a brighter future for our customers and the communities we serve,” said David de Leon, President of Alliant Energy — Wisconsin. “We look forward to working with our employees and labor partners in the construction, operation and maintenance of our new clean energy investments.”

Powering What’s Next

The Powering What’s Next plan outlines our five key areas of focus in helping customers participate in a cleaner, technology-intensive energy future:

Clean Energy Blueprint

We’ve created a Clean Energy Blueprint for our Wisconsin customers. It provides the underlying analysis for accelerating the transition to renewable energy in a cost-effective way for customers. The Blueprint also includes plans for modernizing the grid through technology enhancements. We will begin studies in January 2020 to develop its Clean Energy Blueprint for Iowa.

Smarter energy use

These programs allow customers to take advantage of budget-friendly billing options, move usage to off-peak times, and learn how to use appliance settings and smart home technologies to conserve energy.

My energy, my choice

We now offer customers more options to rely solely on renewable energy. Customers can:

  • Choose to have up to 100% of their energy supplied by renewable sources
  • Participate in a customer-hosted, utility-owned solar panel program through roof leasing designed for medium-sized projects of ~200kw
  • Interconnect private solar panels to the power grid
  • Aggregate service for large customers with multiple accounts under a single renewable energy contract

Community involvement

We serve communities through economic development, foundation giving focused on education and family stability, and volunteer support. Across our service area we have 15 shovel-ready economic development parks poised to bring new jobs and economic growth to each community.

Conversion to cleaner fuels

We’re helping customers make the switch and drive electric at home and at work. We also help commercial customers convert diesel applications to compressed natural gas, or CNG.

For more information visit: alliantenergy.com/poweringwhatsnext

Alliant Energy named a Top Utility in Economic Development

Alliant Energy has been chosen for the annual list of the Top Utilities in Economic Development. Site Selection magazine provided the recognition based on the company’s contribution to the local economies and communities in its service area.

“We’re proud to be recognized for our efforts to bring investment, growth and job creation to the communities we serve,” said Terry Kouba, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “We appreciate our local, regional and state economic development partners. Together, we can provide growth that brings value to our customers, communities, and new and expanding businesses.”

Site Selection’s September issue cites Alliant Energy’s economic development team and its collaboration with local, regional and state partners for delivering more than $1.4 billion in new capital investment and more than 3,600 new jobs across the company’s Iowa and Wisconsin service areas in 2018. Alliant Energy was involved in 49 new industrial, warehouse and office projects.

This is the first time Alliant Energy has been featured on Site Selection’s list, which is a significant milestone as the company continues to enhance its economic development efforts and works to fuel growth in its service area. Over the past few years, Alliant Energy has invested in large industrial sites such as the Beaver Dam Commerce Park and added national marketing staff to its economic development team.

“We’re aggressively pursuing business growth opportunities, and the visibility that comes with being classified as a top utility will help us build upon our successes,” said Scott Drzycimski, director of customer, community and economic development. “More doors will open for us with executives, site selection consultants and real estate brokers who represent large industrial projects and investments.”

Site Selection magazine bases its ranking on a utility’s efforts to cultivate commercial and industrial business development, job creation and utility service area populations. The magazine also considers factors like project activity and the jobs and capital investments that resulted from those projects. Only twenty electric utilities are chosen each year for the Top Utilities in Economic Development list amid a field of around 3,300 electric utilities across the country, including around 900 cooperatives.

Site Selection delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 executives of fast-growing firms and is considered the senior publication in the development field.

To read Site Selection Magazine’s press release: https://siteselection.com/press/releases/190903.html

For more information about Alliant Energy’s economic development program, visit: www.alliantenergy.com/economicdevelopment

 

Alliant Energy executive recognized by Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee

Jim Gallegos has been recognized as a distinguished leader by the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.Gallegos

He is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Alliant Energy.  But Jim’s passions extend beyond law. He’s served as a mentor, leader and volunteer in the community, and is passionate about inclusion and diversity.

“At work and in the community, I am an active mentor of up-and-coming talent. I would not be where I am in my career had it not been for those successful professionals who mentored me when faced with tough career and business decisions.” Gallegos said.

Jim has also served on the Board of the Urban League of Greater Madison, supporting career advancement and business development among a diverse workforce.

Along the way, Jim has lent considerable support to bettering his community by serving on the Boards of the Edgewood College, Clean Lakes Alliance, Madison Country Day School, United Way Foundation, and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, while also supporting and mentoring other executive directors of organizations that support diverse communities.

His volunteer service is in addition to an illustrious career in law. He has served in senior executive positions at Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Corporation, US West/Qwest Communications International and worked as a trial attorney in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he prosecuted racial violence and police brutality cases.

“Jim excels at caring for others by creating a workplace where people feel like they belong and can use their unique backgrounds, talents and full potential. We’re proud of his accomplishments,” said John Larsen, Alliant Energy chairman, president and CEO.

Congratulations, Jim!

Alliant Energy moves toward cleaner energy future

2019 Alliant Energy Sustainability Report homepageOur online 2019 Corporate Sustainability Report went live today.

The report outlines our continuing efforts to meet the ever changing needs of our customers in an affordable, safe, reliable and sustainable way.

It can be accessed at alliantenergy.com/sustainability.

“Our world is changing – and so are we,” said Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO John Larsen. “We’re listening to our customers, employees and key stakeholders and continuing to evolve how we do business. Every day, our work is focused on enhancing the environmental, social and economic conditions of the communities we have the honor to serve.”

We have been transitioning toward cleaner energy for more than a decade. Between 2016 and 2020, our company expects to spend approximately $2 billion on new company-owned wind generation. By the end of 2020, we will own 12 wind farms with the capacity to power nearly 600,000 homes. This equals the energy needed to power about 60% of the company’s residential customer base.

We are targeting a 40% reduction in carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050. Last year, we were among the first utilities to state that it plans to eliminate all existing coal from its energy mix by 2050.

Highlights detailed in Alliant Energy’s Corporate Sustainability Report include:

  • Near-term capital investments from 2019 through 2022 focusing primarily on adding renewables and distribution improvements.
  • Two planned solar gardens adjacent to the company’s newest natural gas-fired generating stations.
  • Counties with existing wind farms, combined with those being built and developed, sharing an estimated average of $18 million a year in tax payments and utility-shared revenues by 2028.
  • Hiring a goat herd to eat invasive plants where using equipment would be a challenge and pesticides could impact the environment.
  • Plans to install most new electric lines underground as well as burying those that need replacement or upgrade.
  • Upland Prairie and English Farms wind farms earning Envision® Platinum ratings.
  • Eighty-two percent annual landfill diversion rate achieved for large construction projects.
  • Rebates to 315 residential and 15 non-residential customers for electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Community investment of $7.4 million and nearly 90,000 volunteer hours in 2018, including $2 million for electric and heating bill assistance to families in need.

Stay cool and save with discounts on low-E windows

Cut your heating and cooling costs with a simple fix.Window Install

Install low-E windows and take advantage of a 25% discount at participating retailers in Wisconsin.

What does low-E stand for?

Low-E stands for low-emissivity. It is an extremely durable coating on glass that acts as a heat mirror, which keeps the heat outside in the summertime and inside in the wintertime.

The durable, high-quality finish and low-profile design give them virtually the same visual appearance as new replacement windows.

Whether you have single/double hung windows, sliders or fixed panels, low-E storm windows will mimic your existing window in both look and function.

Make a smart investment

Studies have shown that the same energy-saving performance as ENERGY STAR certified replacement windows can be achieved for as low as 25% of the cost when you install low-E windows.*

Low-E windows can:

  • Save homeowners up to $350 annually on annual heating and cooling bills**
  • Improve comfort by reducing drafts, which accounts for 25-40% of energy used for heating and cooling
  • Reduce noise—the dead air space created when you add a low-E storm window over your existing window traps the noise of traffic, lawn mowers or loud neighbors, reducing noise by up to 50%.

For more information, visit focusonenergy.com/low-estorms

Homeowners in Wisconsin can receive 25% off the purchase of up to 15 ENERGY STAR low-E storm windows at participating retail locations through December 31, 2019, or while supplies last. The discount is part of the Focus on Energy program.

*Focus on Energy

** EPA estimates that on a national average, ENERGY STAR certified Low-E storm windows can save homeowners $350* annually on their annual heating and cooling bills when installed over clear glass single-pane windows.
www.energy.gov

Raise your thermostat, cut your costs

True or False?Set thermostat

When it comes to air conditioning costs, it takes more energy to cool your home back down after using a setback thermostat than it would have taken to maintain a cool temperature all along.

The answer? False!

As heat advisories are issued across our service area, it’s important to know the facts.

The fact is it takes a lot more energy to keep your home cool all day than to cool it back down when you get home from work.

When you raise the temperature on your thermostat on a hot summer day, the air conditioning uses less electricity over that eight-hour period.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 88 F while you’re away. The higher interior temperature actually slows the flow of heat into your home, so it won’t take as much energy to cool things back down as you think when you return home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4U3EY1VmQ#action=share

Get a rebate on smart thermostats.

In a study of cooling costs by Powerley, people who raised their thermostat:

  • 1 degree used 2.4% less energy
  • 2 degrees used 4.5% less energy
  • 10 degrees used 16.6% less energy

During the workweek, people can save between $0.57 and $4.02 with an air conditioning setback.* From June to the end of September, the savings vary between $16.40 to $68.35

Actual energy savings vary based on the physical characteristics of the home, its size, insulation, thermostat settings and HVAC efficiency, as well as local weather conditions.

*Analysis courtesy of Powerley. Prices calculated based on the average cost of kWh across the United States, which, as of 2019, was $0.12.