Saving on summer power bills - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Saving on summer power bills

It may be the dead of winter but it's not too early to think about reducing your summer cooling bill.

You can sign up now to save when energy demand peaks.

Imagine it's 100 degrees and your air conditioner is working overtime to keep your home cool.

Add that up and it puts a strain on the power grid.

So power companies want to temporarily turn off your air conditioners for a few minutes at a time to save energy.

It could save you big bucks and you may not even notice a temperature change.

Hot weather may seem like a long way off but what you do in winter may make a difference on this year's power bills.

You can allow your residential air conditioners to be automatically shut off for a few minutes at peak times.

MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy offer incentives to cycle power.

"What happens essentially is we shut off the cooling mechanism but your fan continues to run and it's for a 15 minute period. The fan allows the air to be circulated so you have a cool feeling in the house," said Alliant spokesman Ryan Stensland.

Stensland says Alliant has run its program since the mid 1990s.

About 48,000 customers in Iowa take part.

"You're helping us by controlling the demand for energy. That's what it boils down to - ways to control demand. We continue to see increases and every step we can take reduces the need for power plants and merchants," said Stensland.

Both MidAmerican and Alliant say you can save about $40 per year on your power bill through the cycling program.

Meantime, Stensland says work still continues in some areas to replace damaged equipment from the ice storm that hit two years ago this week.

For more information, click here or here.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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