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MidAmerican Energy News

Learn How to Save Energy and Lower Your Heating Bill This Winter

DES MOINES, Iowa – (Nov. 17, 2016) – With low temperatures expected to reach the 20s this weekend, MidAmerican Energy Company wants customers to take steps now to winterize their homes.

According to a report released by the United States Department of Energy in early October, customers could pay more to heat their homes this winter compared to last winter due to higher natural gas prices and lower temperatures. MidAmerican Energy observes that current natural gas futures prices for this winter are nearly 40 percent higher than comparable prices observed last winter.

“Our warmer-than-normal fall weather may be coming to an end,” said Brian Wiese, director, gas portfolio planning and trading, for MidAmerican Energy. “Last year, temperatures throughout the winter were much warmer than normal and natural gas prices were near historic lows. That may not be the case this year. If we see more normal winter weather this year, as current forecasts suggest, furnaces are going to run more than they did last year. Fortunately, there are several things customers can do to help reduce their heating costs.”

Get a HomeCheck®
The first step in learning how to lower your monthly bill and become more energy efficient is through MidAmerican Energy’s free energy assessment program, HomeCheck. During a HomeCheck, an energy expert inspects your home and examines things like your heating and cooling systems, appliances, insulation levels, lighting, windows and doors and will provide a report on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Customers with homes more than 10 years old whose primary heat source is delivered by MidAmerican Energy are eligible to participate in a HomeCheck. Customers with newer homes can participate in an online home energy assessment that provides energy saving tips and compares your energy use to similar homes. To schedule a free, on-site HomeCheck, fill out a form online or call 800-545-0762.

All customers can improve the energy efficiency of their homes by implementing these five no- or low-cost tips:

1. Make sure your home is weatherized. Use weather stripping and caulk to seal air leaks and block drafts around doors, windows and chimneys as well as in the basement and attic. Check for other potential air leaks in dropped ceilings, soffits above cabinets, electrical outlets, wiring bypasses and gaps in plumbing.
2. Service your furnace. A yearly tune-up by a licensed contractor can ensure that your heating system is running efficiently and safely.
3. Change your filters regularly. A clean filter ensures efficient airflow while maintaining the air quality and comfort of your home. A clogged air filter will make your furnace work harder to keep your home warm.
4. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter. For every degree above 68, you’ll increase your energy use by approximately four percent over a 24-hour period.
5. Install a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers the temperature when you’re asleep or away.

Need weatherization assistance? See if you qualify for a federally-funded program
Low-income individuals who may not be able to afford energy efficiency renovations, such as replacing a furnace or installing insulation, may qualify for the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Eligibility for the program is based on income and whether a household is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Family Investment Program (FIP) Assistance. To learn more about the program or apply for assistance, visit the local community action agency outreach office in your county.

For more information on how to prepare your home for winter, visit: https://www.midamericanenergy.com/rebates-energy.aspx.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company is an energy provider serving 752,000 electric customers and 733,000 natural gas 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 MidAmerican Energy Company's website.