In February, a polar vortex resulted in a dramatic natural gas price spike and higher customer bills. MidAmerican worked with state regulators to spread out those costs over a longer period of time than normal to reduce the financial impact to gas customers. Those costs for February use will continue to be a part of customer gas supply charges for the next several months. In Iowa, MidAmerican is spreading the costs from the February event through April 2022. In Illinois, the payback period extends through March 2022. In South Dakota, the payback period ends in December.
MidAmerican offers a budget billing program to help customers ease bill fluctuations. The program is free for customers and stabilizes utility charges that vary by changing seasons and different energy usage patterns. Customers can enroll by calling MidAmerican at 888-427-5632, or through My Account.
Once enrolled, the bill is reconciled periodically to ensure payments are on track with their actual use. Customers enrolled in budget billing can contact MidAmerican at any time for an evaluation if they are concerned that their budget billing amount is not on track with their use – they don’t have to wait for MidAmerican’s scheduled review.
MidAmerican encourages any customer facing financial hardship to communicate with the company to discuss options and potential assistance.
MidAmerican offers a variety of energy efficiency programs and rebates to help customers use less energy and save money, including a free online assessment tool called HomeCheck Online. Residential customers in Iowa and Illinois who complete the online assessment for the first time can receive a free energy efficiency kit, which includes energy-saving products that are easy to install.
- Be smart when setting your thermostat. By setting your thermostat as low as is comfortable, you’ll save money. Set it even cooler while you’re sleeping. You can also save with a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the indoor temperature when you’re away or sleeping.
- Service your furnace. Have your furnace serviced once a year to ensure it’s working safely and efficiently. Clean or replace filters once a month or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees, which is not enough to cause scalding but is still hot enough to keep diseases at bay and is considered relatively energy efficient.
- Seal leaks. Locate and seal any leaks from your air ducts. Use weather stripping to help seal leaky windows and doors.
- Check your insulation. Consider whether you need to add or replace your home’s insulation. Insulation reduces energy demand in both the winter and summer.
- Close your drapes at night. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, closing your drapes at night during the winter can help reduce heat loss in a room up to 10%. During the day, open your south-facing drapes and shades to take advantage of the sunshine.
MidAmerican Energy, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 795,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 774,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at midamericanenergy.com and company social media channels.