Iowans using more energy than last summer

If you?ve been sweating more than normal this summer, you?re not alone.

Iowans have had to use more energy cooling their homes for what has been a hotter summer than average. Alliant Energy?s senior communications partner Justin Foss said the company?s Iowa customers used 15 percent more energy in May and June than they did over the same period in 2017.

Foss said Iowans were lucky two years ago when they enjoyed a mild summer. Those days are gone, and it?s clear by looking at the utility bill. Foss noticed his own energy use climb 43 percent from June of 2016 to this June.


How to reduce energy bills

Foss has fielded a number of questions from Alliant customers wondering how they can reduce their energy bills. Luckily, he has a few suggestions:

? Participate in Alliant?s ?appliance cycling? program. This program works by having the utility install a radio-activated control switch on your outdoor central air conditioner at no cost. During peak energy times, you will use less energy because the air conditioner will merely circulate the cool, dry air already in your home. In exchange, Alliant deducts $8 off your monthly bill.

? Rely on small kitchen appliances whenever possible. Microwaves, toaster ovens and slow-cookers can use 75 percent less energy than a large electric oven, according to Alliant?s website.

? Run the dishwasher only with full loads, and use the air-dry cycle.

? Use hot water sparingly in the washing machine, reserving it for very dirty loads. Always use cold water for the rinse cycle.

? Unplug any electrical device that?s not being used. Many appliances, especially computers, video game systems, televisions and DVD players draw power even when turned off.

? Use energy at night when demand is less because this will lower your bill.

Alliant gives customers a 50 percent discount on energy used during off-peak hours. Foss said peak hours start at 7 a.m. and end at 8 p.m.