Wind energy brings careers to the Midwest

How tall are those wind turbines? Torin Erickson has the answer for that ready to go. “They are 300 feet, and, yes, we climb all the way up to the top.”

Erickson is the lead technician at one of our newest wind farms. We are undertaking a major expansion of wind energy. By the end of 2020, Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin and Iowa energy companies will operate 10 wind farms across Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

That expansion brings cleaner energy to customers. It also brings new jobs and economic development to the Midwest.

Erickson got into the wind industry as it started to grow in the last few years. “I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and fixing things.” It’s that opportunity that brought him and his family to Iowa from Minnesota.

“I get a lot of fulfillment out of it,” Torin said. “Getting it fixed at the end of the day, you can see it spinning and you know it’s putting clean energy on the grid.”

It’s also fulfilling to know his young daughter is paying attention, too. “My daughter thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. She pays attention to the turbines and thinks it’s pretty neat – and I think that’s cool.”

Stay comfy, beat the cold

Comfort, yes! Energy waste, no. Here’s how to stay warm and cut your heating costs. 

  • Use ceiling fans. You can reverse the blade to push down warm air from near the ceiling and circulate and distribute it around the room, so the space requires less heat.
  • Seal the leaks and close the gaps. Caulk, seal and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Keep it shut. Traditional fireplaces are energy losers because they pull heated air out of the house and send it up the chimney. When not in use, keep the damper closed. 
  • Take control with a smart thermostat. Control your home’s temperature from anywhere using your smart device. Smart thermostats also auto-adjust to help manage heating. They can save up to $120 annually.** 
  • Replace your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Changing or cleaning your filter once a month helps your bill and the quality of air you breathe.
  • Schedule a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use.
  • Turn it off. Kitchen- and bath-ventilating fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if left on. Turn them off after they’ve done their job.
  • Be selective with space heaters and save. Space heaters cost 2.3 times as much as central heating to keep your home, or large portions of it, warm. Space heaters may save money only if you restrict them to heating a small area and turn down your central heating system by several degrees.* 

*Source: U.S.  Department of Energy
**Source: Focus on Energy

Corporate Sustainability Report

At Alliant Energy, we have a vision to not only power beyond the challenges of today, but to power what’s next in energy. This means finding innovative ways to address environmental challenges, operate more efficiently and provide flexible energy resources.

We’re excited to share our sustainability story with you! Our online 2019 Corporate Sustainability Report can be viewed at alliantenergy.com/sustainability. We’re excited that video is debuting in this year’s report – it features six videos – including the tale of goats keeping weeds under control at one of our facilities.

We’ve also added more data and information on our sustainability performance. We highlight how our actions are serving the needs of you, our customers, while being mindful of the world around us.