Today, we took a critical step forward to bring more cost-effective renewable energy to our customers in Iowa.
We filed proposals with the Iowa Utilities Board to develop pilot programs that support the growth of renewable energy in the state. One proposal will focus on creating a community-based solar program. The other proposals will focus on studying alternatives to current net metering.
The proposals are designed to encourage customer participation and investment in cost-effective renewable energy. By filing these proposals, we will be able to gather input to guide future decisions about growing renewable energy.
“Renewable energy is growing, and this is one way we continue to bring cost-effective solutions to our customers,” said Doug Kopp, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “The insights we gain will be valuable in shaping successful programs.”
Today’s proposals are part of our efforts to bring more clean energy to Iowa in a cost-effective and reliable way. We are taking a thoughtful approach that includes embracing renewable energy technologies, while considering the impacts on our customers, employees and local economies.
Heating bills were lower this year than last
Our natural gas customers saved an average of $110 when heating their homes this winter, compared to last winter.
The savings came from two major factors: the low price for natural gas and the lower usage for natural gas.
Natural gas prices are at near record lows. More importantly, experts continue to forecast stable prices. The prices haven’t been this low, and this stable, for more than a decade.
Warmer weather this winter also meant that customers used less natural gas to heat homes. On average, customers used about 30% less natural gas during November and December of 2015 versus the same period in 2014. In January and February of 2016, customers used 12% less and 3% less natural gas versus the same period in 2015.
|Average home heating cost November – February
Investing in energy efficiency can further reduce your natural gas use. We have information on rebates to help with new furnaces, water heaters and insulation. Learn more at alliantenergy.com/rebates.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – March 3, 2016 – Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy are teaming up to fight back against scams. Phone billing scams targeting utility customers continue to be a daily battle, resulting in money lost for our customers.
Since the beginning of the year, Iowa customers have reported more than 400 fraudulent calls to the two utilities. The scammers are targeting all customer bases; however, small businesses and Spanish-speaking customers seem to be the most frequent targets.
In most scam cases, callers pose as utility employees and threaten to shut off power unless the customer makes a payment. Scammers are persistent and aggressive. They use sophisticated methods to trick customers, which include:
- Spoofing Caller ID to make the call appear as if it is coming from the utility.
- Impersonating energy auditors in an attempt to get inside your home or business.
- Intimidating customers by showing up at your door or claiming that a crew is en route to disconnect service.
- Requiring that the customer pay using either a credit card over the phone or with a pre-paid (Green Dot) card.
- Claiming there is an issue with electric or natural gas service equipment inside the house.
Customers who receive a suspicious call should hang up and call local police and their utility to report the scam and check on the status of their account. Call Alliant Energy at 1-800-255-4268 or MidAmerican Energy at 1-888-427-5632.
Protecting customers from scams is a top priority for Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy. We want to educate customers on how to avoid falling victim. If customers are behind on bills, they will receive several notifications; disconnection is a last resort, not a first step in the process. Both utilities accept many different forms of payment. A specific payment method is never required when paying your bill.
You can always follow these steps to stay safe:
- Never give out personal information such as credit card or account numbers. Utilities will not ask you for this information over the phone.
- Ask for proper identification from anyone who approaches you. Call the appropriate utility to verify the purpose for the visit. Use the number published on the website or in the phone book.