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Appliance Cycling

Keep your cool - and your cash!

Installing a Appliance Cycling unitWhen Midwestern summers bring 90 degree temperatures and high humidity levels, the huge demand for electricity puts a big strain on power plants.

With Alliant Energy's Appliance Cycling program, you can help us meet electricity needs during peak demand times - and we'll pay you for participating!

View Alliant Energy's Appliance Cycling Notification page to see if we are cycling in your area. You can also view the dates and times of past cycling events.

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How does Appliance Cycling work?

When you sign up for the program, we'll send a contractor to install a small, radio-activated control switch on or near your outdoor central air conditioner at no cost to you.

If the demand for electricity escalates to a critical point, a "system emergency" or "peak alert" is announced, and we'll turn on the radio signal that activates the switch on your air conditioner. The receiver will be activated to cycle the outdoor cooling unit according to the program option you elected.

The switch will cycle your air conditioner, while the furnace fan continues to circulate the cooler, drier air already in your home. You'll stay cool and comfortable, your electric bill stays low and the environment can breathe a little easier.

The program runs from May to September but dates vary in each state. Cycling events typically occur Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and never on weekends or holidays.

What's in it for me?

Not only will you reduce your energy costs, Alliant Energy will compensate you for participating in the program. The amount of credit depends on which state you live in and the program option you sign up for. Please see the Q&A below for more details.

Why do you want to cycle my appliances?

Without your participation in the Appliance Cycling program, we might need to purchase electricity from other providers during peak demand times, usually at a premium price, which could ultimately increase your utility bill.

If electricity isn't available from other producers, the excess demand quickly drains the capacity of the electric system, resulting in lower voltage or even outages.

That's why your involvement in the Appliance Cycling program is so important. Because of you, we're better able to provide uninterrupted service to our customers.

How do I qualify?

This program is available to all residential Alliant Energy electric customers that meet the following criteria: 

  • You must own your home, have a central air conditioner and receive retail electric service from Alliant Energy.
  • Installation is only allowed at your primary residence.
  • Participation is limited — control receivers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do I sign up?

Call 1-866-ALLIANT (1-866-255-4268) to sign up with one of our marketing representatives; or complete and submit the Appliance Cycling online enrollment form.

Do I need to sign up each year?

No. If you were in the program last year, you do not need to sign up again. You will automatically receive the savings each summer.

 

Appliance Cycling Q&A

What are peak periods?

Peak periods occur when temperatures are forecasted to be 90 degrees or above and/or electric demand is expected to reach 90% of peak. Peak demand times usually occur between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., but they may also happen at other times of the day.

Is there a special cost for the receiver?

There is NO COST to you for the installation or removal of the radio control switch.

Will I notice a temperature difference?

Your outdoor unit will turn on and off when your air conditioner is cycling. However, your furnace fan will continue to operate as long as the thermostat fan switch is in the “auto” or “on” position and the thermostat calls for cooling.

Temperature and humidity levels may increase slightly, but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

What do the lights on the cycling switch mean?

A red light indicates the switch has received a signal to cycle. Also, if power to the switch has been interrupted - such as a breaker being shut off and turned back on - the red light will come on and go back off within five minutes. This is a safety precaution that all the switches have.

A green light (solid or blinking) should be on all the time and is a communication light. This light will not affect the air conditioner’s ability to run or cool.

How long will my appliances be off?

Central air conditioners will be cycled every 15 minutes on and off in Iowa and Minnesota. Wisconsin offers three different cycling options at 50%, 75% and 100%. Cycling will take place no longer than six hours in one day. Cycling typically occurs Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and never on weekends or holidays. Your furnace fan, however, will continue to operate as long as the thermostat fan switch is in the “auto” or “on” position and the thermostat is calling for cooling.

Water heaters are shut off during the entire control period, not to exceed six hours per day. Wisconsin does not offer the water heater option.

What happens if I move?

The cycling switch is the property of Alliant Energy and remains installed on the premises. Please let us know when you will be moving. If you would like a switch installed at your new home, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-866-ALLIANT (1-866-255-4268) to request a new switch.