For more information, contact:
Tina Potthoff, Media Relations Manager, at 515-281-2585
Abby Bottenfield, Media Relations Representative, at 515-281-2621
DES MOINES, Iowa – (Oct. 31, 2013) – With fall under way and winter around the corner, MidAmerican Energy Company reminds customers that there are several ways to conserve energy and reduce monthly heating bills during cold weather.
MidAmerican Energy encourages customers to take advantage of the company’s free HomeCheck program now before the cold weather sets in. An energy assessment can lead to significant savings for years to come. Customers can complete an audit one of two ways:
Visit www.midamericanenergy.com and complete the online energy audit. Customers can find the online tool under Energy Efficiency, select residential or business customer, and then select the appropriate state. Select HomeCheck Online or BusinessCheck Online to compare energy use to homes and businesses of similar size. Have your MidAmerican Energy account number ready.
Schedule a free in-home energy assessment for customers who reside in Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska and live in and own or is a landlord who owns a home or mobile home built before Dec. 31, 2002. Primary heating energy must be supplied directly by MidAmerican Energy. Customers should call 800-545-0762 to find out if they qualify for the program and schedule the appointment.
MidAmerican Energy also offers no- and low-cost energy saving ideas to make homes and small businesses more energy efficient.
1. ROLL IT OUT: Make sure your home has adequate insulation. This includes the attic, exterior walls, floors, basement and crawl spaces. In unheated areas, be sure to insulate around furnace ducts or boiler pipes. This is one of the best ways to maintain a uniform temperature within the home, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
2. BUY IT RIGHT: Install ENERGY STAR lighting and appliances in your home. ENERGY STAR light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs.
3. SEAL IT UP: Use weather stripping and caulk to seal air leaks and block drafts around doors, windows, chimneys, electric outlets and other potential areas for air leakage, including the basement and attic.
4. SET IT SMART: Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter to save energy and money. You also can save with a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature when you’re asleep or away.
5. WRAP IT UP: Put clear plastic sheets over the inside or outside of your windows to reduce heat loss and increase comfort. Window wrap kits are available at your hardware or home store.
6. LET IT SHINE: Keep drapes, shades and blinds open on sunny winter days, especially on the south side of your home. During cold, windy days, closed drapes double as insulators.
7. TURN IT OFF: When plugged in, many appliances and chargers use electricity whether they’re on or not. This wasted power is called phantom load. Save some green by turning off and unplugging what you can, possibly reducing your home’s phantom load by as much as one third.
8. KEEP IT CLEAR: Make sure your air registers and radiators are not blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes or other objects. Be sure to dust or vacuum registers or radiators on a regular basis.
9. KEEP IT UP: Have your heating system serviced once a year so it runs properly and efficiently. Change your furnace filters regularly since dirty filters make the system work harder and use more energy than necessary.
Customers who want to ease fluctuations in monthly bill amounts may want to consider MidAmerican Energy’s Budget Billing program. Throughout the year, your monthly energy bill fluctuates. Seasons change, heating and cooling costs rise and fall, and energy use varies. The Budget Billing program is designed to ease the fluctuation in your monthly bills. The total annual cost for electricity and natural gas remains the same, but customers pay a budget billing amount that is based on projected energy prices and the cost of the previous 24 months of usage at your home or business. This allows for the convenience of a more predictable bill amount each month. Periodic reviews of your Budget Billing Plan help to ensure your payments are on track with your actual usage. Participation in the program is free and available to all customers.
MidAmerican Energy also encourages customers to participate in the I CARE assistance program and help a neighbor in need this winter. The I CARE program helps customers who are unemployed, living on fixed or low incomes, or experiencing a family crisis, by assisting in the payment of their heating bills or making their homes more energy efficient. I CARE funding comes from customer donations, with a 25 percent match by MidAmerican Energy for all funds raised. All donations go directly to the community action agency that oversees the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in the area where the contribution originated. Customers can make a one-time or recurring monthly donation.
Eligible homeowners and renters also can seek assistance with home heating and/or cooling needs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, a federally funded program administered by the state. LIHEAP programs are administered at the state level, so each LIHEAP program can vary. For information on the program in your area, click here.
For more information on energy efficiency programs, billing options and the I CARE program, visit www.midamericanenergy.com or call 888-427-5632.
MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 734,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.midamericanenergy.com.