For Wisconsin customers
- Furnace maintenance is important to your comfort and wallet
- Stop! Look up.
- Turn a triple play
- Alliant Energy to purchase Riverside Energy Center
- Many factors influence natural gas prices
- Look who's talking - comments from our customers
Furnace maintenance is important to your comfort and wallet
With cooler temperatures coming our way, your heating system will be getting more use over the next several months. The last thing you want is for it to stop working properly when you need it the most and to incur a large, unplanned hit to your monthly household budget. Maintaining your heating system is important to prevent future problems and unwanted costs.
One of the most important things you can do is keep your heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors tend to be busier during the winter so it’s best to check your heating system in the fall rather than waiting. Some people use the fall time change as a reminder to get their annual heating system checked.
According to ENERGY STAR®, a typical professional maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check thermostat settings to ensure the heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity your heating system uses.
- Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Check all gas connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. Improperly operating gas connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.
In addition to your annual heating system check-up, you should also remember to inspect, clean or change air filters once a month in your furnace. If you do not know how to do this, ask the contractor you use for your check-up. A dirty filter not only increases energy costs, it can damage your equipment, and lead to early failure.
Finally, if your furnace is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, you should consider replacing it with a high efficiency model. Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, offers rebates for qualifying high efficiency furnaces. Visit focusonenergy.com for details.
Stop! Look up.
As farmers and their families get ready for harvest season, Alliant Energy is reminding all customers to look up for overhead wires.
Stop and look up before moving augers, conveyors, sprayers, hoppers, vehicles with tall antenna, even ladders or irrigation pipe. It is important to keep at least a 10 foot clearance from power lines.
If you need to add a grain bin or other structure to your property, remember power lines must be at least 18 feet above the highest point on any grain bin that uses portable augers or other portable farming equipment.
If you’re planning to build or add on to your farm equipment or buildings be sure you are aware of overhead electric lines and call Alliant Energy. The electric lines in your area may be owned by Alliant Energy as your electric distribution company or ATC, the electric transmission provider to Alliant Energy. Regardless, if you call Alliant Energy at 1-800-255-4268 we’ll send someone to your farm to assist in finding the right spot for your equipment and buildings.
Turn a triple play
Three Alliant Energy programs that can help keep you connected
Baseball season may be coming to an end, but you still have time to make a triple play the Alliant Energy way! Our triple play is signing up for Budget Billing, Paperless Billing and Automatic Payment. These three programs together can help you make sure your payments are manageable and on time every time.
Budget Billing: We set your monthly bill amount using an average of 12 months of energy usage. You pay the same amount every month, so there aren’t any surprises with high bills during the cold weather heating season or a blazing summer’s cooling season. Your budget bill amount is reviewed every 6 months and is adjusted if necessary.
Paperless Billing: Instead of a paper bill, each month we send you an email notification when your bill is ready to view online. It cuts down the clutter of a stack of bills.
Automatic Payment: Each month we deduct the amount of your bill directly from your bank account on your bill due date.
These programs work best in combination. When you sign up for Budget Billing you know exactly how much will come out of your bank account for Automatic Payment. When you’re signed up for Automatic Payment, there’s no need for a paper bill to make a payment, you simply review your bill online.
So step up to the plate and send your worries flying over the outfield fence. No more fretting over late payments or possible disconnection. You’re calm, cool and keeping connected!
Alliant Energy to purchase Riverside Energy Center
Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility company, has exercised its option to purchase the Riverside Energy Center. Riverside is a 600-megawatt combined cycle natural gas-fired electric generating facility located in Beloit, Wisconsin that began operations in 2004. WPL currently has a purchase power agreement with Riverside for approximately 500 megawatts. Under that agreement, WPL was provided with the option to purchase the plant.
“We exercised our option because we believe purchasing Riverside allows us to better manage our generation fleet to reduce our reliance on market purchases, manage costs for our customers and remain flexible for the future,” said John Larsen, President – WPL.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the approximately $392 million purchase in April of this year. WPL expects to close the purchase by December 31, 2012. Purchasing Riverside is not expected to have any significant impact on WPL electric rates.
Many factors influence natural gas prices
As fall arrives it’s time to start thinking about the heating season again. If you use natural gas, you know how your costs can change from one heating season to another. The cost of the natural gas itself is the most significant portion of your monthly natural gas bill.
Alliant Energy does not profit from higher natural gas prices, the actual cost is passed through to customers. The good news for natural gas customers recently has come from significantly lower natural gas costs.
Weather is often the biggest factor in how much residential customers pay for natural gas each winter heating season. How cold or warm it is affects how much you run your furnace and in turn how much natural gas you use. Also, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast can directly impact natural gas production, which can influence supply and in turn prices.
Comments from our Customers
Look who’s talking!
Looking for a way to make bill paying a little easier? At Alliant Energy we let you choose the payment options that work best for you. Many customers today prefer the convenience of our electronic options: Automatic Payment, Paperless Billing, Instant Online Payment and all of the account management functions on our website.
I would like to compliment the new, improved website, particularly the bill payment section with its more organized, informative approach. It certainly is easier to follow and so succinct. Well done!
Randolph P. - Janesville, WI
My wife and I use Budget Billing and the Automatic Payment option. We know exactly how much our bill will be each month, plus we don’t worry about mailing a check. It’s one less thing to be concerned about.
Frank G. - Sauk City, WI
Paperless Billing makes my busy schedule less hectic because I get a prompt when my bill is due and can go online and schedule a payment. Super easy!
Vicky H. - Spring Green, WI
For customer service, call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268).