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Alliant Energy News - August 2013

What You See Is What You Get Element

For Wisconsin 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.

Closing-Blinds.jpgDon’t let the dog days of summer dog your utility bill

Yes, you can stay cool and keep your utility costs in check. Here are some simple tips.

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Use a programmable thermostat with your air conditioner to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
  • Use your furnace fan or a portable fan with your window air conditioner to spread cool air effectively through your home without greatly increasing power use.
  • Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It won’t cool your home any faster, and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
  • Shade your windows
  • Sun shining through windows makes air conditioners work two to three times harder.
  • Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.
  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.
  • Weatherize
  • Air leaks waste energy dollars year-round.
  • Caulking and weather stripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
  • Adding insulation and sealing air leaks help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.

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

Moving-Family.jpgPreparing to move? Start or stop service online

Whether you’re a college student moving into an apartment, a family moving to a new home or an empty nester downsizing to a condo, Alliant Energy offers an easy way for residential customers to start or stop service online.

If you are building a new home and need to establish service, you can also download our residential service application and agreement.

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 Wisconsin.

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.

Home-Builder.jpgBuilding a new home? Make it energy-efficient

Alliant Energy works with Focus on Energy, which provides resources and incentives to residents and businesses to make energy efficiency improvements.

The Focus on Energy New Homes program pairs prospective homeowners with builders and energy experts to construct new homes that are between 10 and 100 percent more efficient than homes built to Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code; these homes are tested and certified when construction is complete.

New Homes program advantages:

Your Focus on Energy Building Performance Consultant will make sure your home meets the highest standards for energy efficiency, combustion safety, comfort and durability. You’ll also enjoy other benefits, including:

  • Dedicated builders – Focus on Energy rewards builders for constructing homes to be as efficient as possible, so you know your new home will be built to save and last.
  • Lower energy bills – A Focus on Energy New Home is at least 10 percent more efficient than homes that are merely built to code, which means lower energy costs and more efficient performance.
  • Comfort – Expect air tightness that minimizes drafts and creates superior indoor air quality.
  • Proof of quality – Your Building Performance Consultant conducts two site visits to inspect construction, mechanicals and overall performance, and once the home passes all reviews and tests, certifies your home.
  • Resale differentiator – Focus on Energy New Home owners who have sold their homes reported that prospective buyers valued energy efficiency when purchasing a home.

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 three 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 three 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 the Diggers Hotline at 1-800-242-8511.

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).