Monthly Archives: November 2014

Energy makes preparing your holiday meal easy as pie

Of all the ingredients needed to make a holiday meal, energy will be one of the lowest cost items for our customers.

“We’re thankful we can power the holiday traditions for more than one million customers,” said Patricia Kampling, President and CEO of Alliant Energy. “We know how important electricity and natural gas are to making this meal possible.”

Energy infographicThe cost of a turkey feast changes every year. The same is true for the cost of energy needed to cook the meal. This year, the American Farm Bureau Federation figures the average Thanksgiving meal for ten people will cost $49.41.

For our customers the 2014 cost of electricity to make that meal averages $1.42. If you are using gas appliances, the cost averages $0.49.

Here’s a breakdown of the individual costs:

Thanksgiving meal Electricity cost Natural gas cost
16 lb. stuffed turkey roasted in an oven for 3.5 hours $0.81 $0.29
Pan of mashed potatoes cooked on the stove for 20 minutes $0.10 $0.02
Gravy cooked on the stove for 10 minutes $0.05 $0.01
Dinner rolls baked in the oven for 30 minutes $0.12 $0.04
Green bean casserole baked in an oven for 30 minutes $0.11 $0.04
Two pumpkin pies baked in an oven for one hour $0.23 $0.08
Total energy cost $1.42 $0.49

We’re always striving to find more ways to be energy-efficient. So we put together a list of some of the easiest ways to do Thanksgiving efficiently.

  1. Let the furnace rest. If your holiday cooking doesn’t heat up your house, your guests will. Turn your thermostat down three to five degrees to save energy while staying comfortable.
  2. Skip the preheat. The turkey is traditionally stuffed early in the morning and roasted for hours. When cooking meats or dishes for several hours, there is no need to preheat your oven.
  3. Don’t overlook the microwave. Efficient microwaves use about half the energy of conventional ovens.
  4. Use glass or ceramic pans. They heat faster than metal pans, and you can lower the temperature by 25 degrees, reducing energy use.
  5. Cooking together saves energy. Cook as much of your meal at one time as possible. Foods with different cooking temperatures can be cooked together, if the temperature difference is less than 25 degrees.
  6. Shut the door. This Thanksgiving, resist the urge to open the oven door and check the meal. One open of the door will decrease the temperature inside by 25 degrees. This means your oven has to use more energy to stay on temperature.
  7. Coast to the finish. Food keeps cooking even after you turn off the burner. When food is almost ready, turn off the oven or burners and let existing heat finish the cooking for you.
  8. Clean while it’s hot. If your oven needs a self-cleaning cycle, do it while the oven is still hot.
  9. Run a full load. Fill your dishwasher and you will use less hot water than doing them by hand.

Check out our Environmental Report

2014 Enviro CoverWe have a simple premise: that a clean, safe and healthy environment is something that we all deserve and that we must preserve for future generations.

We are striving to become even better stewards of the environment, and we are improving our environmental performance.

“Our company always considers the environmental impacts of all our activities. Still, we know our customers and stakeholders expect us to do more,” says Scott Blankman, Director – Energy Markets & Environmental Services. “To meet our high standards and those of our customers, we are continuing to take steps to be both innovative and responsible with our resources.”

Check out the full report and our environmental efforts.

Cleaner power coming soon at Riverside Energy Center in southern Wisconsin

RiversideOur Wisconsin customers could soon reap the benefits of having cleaner, reliable energy powering their homes and businesses. We announced plans to expand our Riverside Energy Center located near Beloit, Wis. We are proposing to build a natural gas generating facility to replace several older coal-fired and natural gas power plants that we’ve slated for retirement in the next few years.

This investment will provide significant environmental benefits, bring hundreds of construction jobs to the state and deliver an economic boost to Rock County. The 650-megawatt facility would power more than 500,000 homes.

The project reflects our company’s continued focus on transitioning our generating fleet to a cleaner mix of fuels.

We expect to file our application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in early 2015. If the project is approved, construction would begin in 2016. The plant would be expected to start operating in 2019 and its cost is estimated at $725 – $775 million.