Monthly Archives: October 2014

Qualified customers can apply now for heating assistance

Hat-on-HouseWe remind customers with low-to-moderate household income to apply for heating assistance through local county and community action agencies. Funds are limited, so apply now.

Funding from the Energy Assistance program can help pay heating bills or weatherize your home. Funds are available for this heating season.

Eligibility for energy assistance is not affected by utility account or homeownership status.

Stay safe this winter! Install or check your carbon monoxide detector.

When heating, cooking or transportation fuels burn incompletely, carbon monoxide results. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas that can be poisonous or fatal. Devices that use any of the following fuels can potentially create CO: natural gas, propane, wood, oil, gasoline, coal and methane.

carbon monoxide alarm2To stay safe, follow these tips:

  • Keep your heating and cooking appliances in good working order and schedule a furnace tune-up.
  • Do not ever leave your car running in the garage, even if the door is open.
  • Install CO detectors and test them regularly.
  • During and after a snowstorm, clear the snow off of your outside vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace.
  • Never use gas or charcoal grills indoors.
  • If you use a generator, keep it away from windows, doors and vent openings.
  • If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. Carbon monoxide exposure can rapidly lead to incapacitation and death. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention right away.


Are you ready for winter?

Check out these easy tips for saving energy when it’s cold out

Seal the leaSnowy-Houseks and close the gaps. Caulk, seal and weatherstrip doors and windows.

Keep it shut. Traditional fireplaces are an energy loser because they pull heated air out of the house and release it up the chimney. When not in use, keep the damper closed. Make sure there are no smoldering embers before closing the damper.

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.

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.

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 percent on heating costs.

Get a home energy assessment. To get the facts about how your home is using energy and where you could save by making improvements, get a home energy assessment. Program certified contractors can identify how much energy your home uses and recommend improvements that will help save money and increase comfort. Rebates may be available for insulation and air sealing projects.

Coming soon in Iowa: 23 community tree-planting projects

couple mulching16Volunteers in communities across Iowa will soon plant a diverse mix of hundreds of trees through a program we are offering along with and Trees Forever.

The program, Branching Out, is giving grants to 23 tree-planting projects in Iowa this fall. In total, we gave $105,585 to communities to add trees in city parks, campgrounds, playgrounds, along nature trails and at schools.

Trees are a natural source of energy efficiency. They block the sun and provide shade on hot days, and offer a windbreak on cold days.

“Iowans have made a big impact in adding trees to the state, and we’re seeing the big benefits of that work,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “Since we started Branching Out in 1989, the trees volunteers planted have captured more than 115 million pounds of carbon, and saved more than 15 million kilowatt-hours of energy.”

Trees provide many benefits that increase as they grow. To help trees last a long time, it is important to plant and care for trees properly. With the threat of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Japanese beetles, Gypsy moth, Bur Oak Blight and others, the need for a diverse population of trees is important across Iowa. This year, Branching Out is funding planting projects that include an increased variety of trees to communities.

“We have been working with communities to diversify the species of trees they plant and recent applications to the Branching Out program demonstrate the communities’ commitment to this effort,” said Meredith Borchardt, Trees Forever program manager. “A diverse urban forest is the best way to ensure resiliency when faced with threats such as the Emerald Ash Borer, or whatever the next major disease or pest threat might be.”

We fund Branching Out and Trees Forever and local community leaders create each tree-planting project. The program supports energy efficiency with strategic tree planting projects and designs. It also improves the quality of life, increases environmental awareness and encourages volunteer involvement.

For more information, contact Trees Forever at 1-800-369-1269 or visit or