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Alliant Energy News - August 2013

What You See Is What You Get Element For Iowa customers
Vol 17 Issue 8

Shade-House-Summer.jpgMother Nature’s air conditioner

Trees and shrubs improve the beauty of your home – that you know. But you might not realize that they can also help lower your heating and cooling costs. Here’s how:

  • Plant shade trees on the west and east sides of your home.
  • Plant bushes and shrubs next to your house to help insulate.
  • Plant evergreens on the north and west sides to deflect the wind.

Need more reasons to plant energy efficiently? A tree-shaded yard can be up to six degrees cooler than a sunny yard and up to 25 degrees cooler than sunny pavement. That could mean a lot of comfort on those hot summer days!

One tip to remember when working in your yard – trim around your natural gas and electric meter so our technicians can easily access your meters.

Click here for additional information on energy efficient landscaping.

home-construction.jpgEnergy efficiency = Granite countertops

Are all newly built homes energy efficient? Unfortunately, no. Many only meet building code, and not the higher standard of energy efficiency. This helps builders stay below a certain price point. But buyer beware – it will cost you more in the long run, in the form of higher monthly heating and cooling bills (about 30 percent higher, according to ENERGY STAR®, or $26 a month for the average Alliant Energy customer).

Instead of spending that $26 a month on higher energy bills, invest it in your home upfront. When spread over a 30-year mortgage at five percent interest, $26 a month can give you about $25,000 more home. Even after investing in energy-efficient upgrades, you will probably still have money left over for a few extras, like granite countertops or wood floors.Your builder can help you select the rebate package that best suits your home, budget and goals.

  • Builder Option Package up to $2,000
  • Advanced Builder Option Package up to $2,800
  • ENERGY STAR ® Qualified Home up to $3,500

When looking for a builder, make sure to ask if his or her homes qualify for the ENERGY STAR® designation or Alliant Energy’s New Home Construction rebates.

School-kids2.jpgEnhance your school’s energy education

Alliant Energy Kids is designed for students in 4th and 5th grade and helps teach the most important concepts about electricity and natural gas: how it works, where it comes from, ways to reduce energy usage and how to stay safe.

Each 4th and 5th grade participating teacher receives a free kit of energy education resource materials. The kit includes 30 copies of The Energy Zone and a large poster to hang in their classroom. The Energy Zone is a 12-page, full-color student magazine filled with articles, fun facts and word puzzles about energy resources, energy conservation and important energy safety tips.

Feedback we receive from teachers plays a vital role to the success of the program. At the end of each school year, we survey participating teachers asking for their feedback. This year we were overwhelmed with the positive responses. For example, here’s a comment from a teacher, “Thank you for allowing me to enhance our energy unit. Our textbooks are outdated and this is a great classroom supplement!”

Alliant Energy will contact 4th and 5th grade teachers in our service territory by email to order the energy education kits this fall for the 2013/2014 school year. If you are a 4th or 5th grade teacher in our service territory and would like to order a kit now and receive it in the fall visit us online at alliantenergykids.com/order.

Pole-Repair-3.jpgPower restoration process

When there is a power outage, Alliant Energy employees work hard to get your power back on quickly and safely. Generally, we first focus on issues that will return power to the largest number of customers. Our power restoration process includes the following steps:

  1. Assess damage to determine the resources needed
  2. Give restoration priority to emergency and public safety-related facilities
  3. Repair power lines that carry electricity from substations to neighborhoods
  4. Repair power lines that serve multiple homes and businesses
  5. Repair power lines to individual customers

As a customer, you play an important role in the outage restoration process. You can help by letting us know if your power goes out. When several customers report an outage, we can pinpoint the location of the problem and fix it faster.

Report an outage by clicking here or call 1-800-255-4268.

Tree.jpg$25 shade trees for your home

Through Alliant Energy’s popular Operation ReLeaf tree program, you can buy up to two high-quality, landscaping trees at deep discounts. In partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry (DNR) and participating counties, Alliant Energy sells high-quality, three to eight-foot trees for just $25 each (retail value of $65 or more). The trees are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There is a limit of two trees per household and advance payment and reservation is required. In past years, the trees have sold out fast, so we encourage you to reserve yours early.

Starting in September, the trees will be sold in eight Iowa counties: Clinton, Dallas, Des Moines, Fayette, Linn, Marshall, Washington, and Worth. You don’t have to reside in the distribution county to purchase trees, but you do have to be a residential customer of Alliant Energy in Iowa. Also, you must be willing to pick-up your tree(s) on the day of distribution in your designated location.

For more information, visit here or call the Iowa DNR at 1-515-281-6749.

twitter-facebook-icons.jpgWant more? Follow us on Twitter & Facebook

Come and like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to find out more about what Alliant Energy is doing in your community and the rest of Iowa.

We’re talking about important safety information, ways to save money through energy efficiency, and some of the great things our employees are doing in their hometowns. We’ll also let you know about important announcements from Alliant Energy.

We’ll share pictures and stories of our crews hard at work and the ways we support the communities we serve.

Click here to connect with us on additional social media sites, like YouTube and LinkedIn.

Refrigerator-pickup.jpgCold cash - recycle your old refrigerator

Recycle your old working refrigerator and get a $50 rebate from Alliant Energy as part of our Appliance Recycling program! We make it easy for you to cash in. Alliant Energy will send a recycling contractor to pick up and dispose of your old working (motor must run, fan must cool) appliance safely. There’s no heavy lifting for you, and you’ll get a rebate in return.

To qualify, Alliant Energy must supply the electricity to the equipment, and there is a maximum quantity of two of each type of appliance. Freezers and refrigerators must be 10 cubic feet or larger. No commercial-sized equipment qualifies.

Laptop-Couple.jpgView your bill online with Paperless Billing

Gain convenience and control by viewing your bill online with Alliant Energy’s Paperless Billing program. Each month we’ll send you an email when your bill is ready to view and pay online.

Paperless Billing is:

  • Convenient: Always right there in your email, ready when you are.
  • Secure: Your billing activity is private and secure.
  • Clutter-free: No envelopes to keep track of, no stamps to buy.

Join the more than 128,000 Alliant Energy customers who have already chosen Paperless Billing.

Just log on, view your bill and schedule your payment – it’s fast, easy and secure!

811-Call.jpgCall 811 before you dig!

This August, Alliant Energy is reminding its customers to call 811 before any digging project. It’s important for everyone, from homeowners to professional contractors, to call before you dig all year. We hope this date, 8/11, will be a good reminder.

“Nationally, failure to call before digging results in more than 60,000 unintentional hits of underground utility lines annually,” said Richard Sublett, Senior Manager of Compliance & Operational Performance for Alliant Energy. “Not only is calling a good idea, it’s the law.

”When you call 811, your state’s One Call center notifies utility companies of the project. Homeowners and contractors should call at least two business days before starting. Professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines for free.

Dig with CARE:

C - Call 811 before you dig
A - Allow two business days for marks to be made
R - Respect the marks, hand dig within 18 inches
E - Excavate carefully

For more information click here, call 811 or Iowa One Call at 1-800-292-8989.

AE-wind-9097.jpgSupport renewable energy

With Alliant Energy’s Second Nature™ program, we’re able to buy more earth-friendly renewable energy produced from wind power and bioenergy. It’s an easy and effective way to do something good for the environment.

Second Nature means fewer fossil fuels are consumed, more valuable energy resources are available for future generations, and air quality is improved for all of us to enjoy.

There’s no special equipment to buy and you don’t have to change your lifestyle one bit – and your energy will be just as reliable as the service you have now.

How much does it cost?

You choose your level of support (25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent). From there, your contribution is calculated based on your home’s actual monthly electric usage (kWh) for the month. This amount is then added to your regular monthly Alliant Energy bill.

Here is an example of a household that uses an average of 800 kWh per month. To learn your monthly kWh usage, please call 1-800-ALLIANT or log into My Account.


If you are an agricultural customer, you simply choose a flat-rate monthly contribution, instead of selecting a participation level.
For more information, click here.

Phone-call.jpgBeware! Avoid utility payment scams

A scam occurring in our service area and across the country uses the threat of service disconnection to convince customers to purchase prepaid credit cards, contact a call-back number and provide that information over the phone. If you receive a call like this, hang up! Alliant Energy does not ask customers to purchase prepaid credit cards. We have several safe and convenient payment options listed here.

This scam also targets Spanish-speaking customers.

Queremos que usted este alerta sobre estafas que al parecer estan dirigidas a nuestros clientes que hablan español. Usando la amenaza de desconectar el servicio, los estafadores los convencen de comprar tarjetas de credito prepagadas y de que les den información. Si usted recibe una llamada que parece sospechosa, cuelgue inmediatamente! Nosotros no solicitamos pagos de nuestros clientes a tráves de tarjetas de credito prepagadas. Tenemos muchas opciones convenientes y seguras para hacer sus pagos las cuales puede encontrar en alliantenergy.com/paymentoptions.

Call us
For customer service, call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268).