CEDAR RAPIDS Interstate Power and Light Co. (IPL), an Alliant Energy company, announced today it will cycle air conditioners for all participating Iowa customers in its southern and central zones. Weather conditions are such that from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. today customers enrolled in the Appliance Cycling program will have their air conditioner cycled in 15-minute intervals to reduce overall energy usage.
Participating residential customers have a small control switch placed on or near their central air conditioner. Today, Alliant Energy will send a signal to switches in communities south of highway 20. The control switch will cycle the outdoor cooling unit off and on every 15 minutes. The furnace fan will continue to circulate the cooler, drier air already in the home.
For those Alliant Energy customers who do not participate in the appliance cycling program, the company is encouraging customers to conserve energy. By reducing the amount of electricity they use, customers save money on their bills and help lower utility system demand. Some ways customers can conserve include raising the temperature on their thermostat during the summer months and waiting to use appliances such as the clothes washer, dishwasher or oven until later in the evening, when the temperature starts to cool and electrical demands generally lessen.
Temperatures on Sunday exceeded 95 degrees and are forecasted to again exceed 95 degrees today. Because of this heat, Alliant Energy forecasts heavy electrical usage, which could result in a peak in energy demand across its service territory.
Alliant Energy does not expect to reach the record peak demand of 3699 megawatts set on July 18, 2011. In addition, it is not expected that there will be a shortage of energy supply, nor reliability issues for customers. However, a reduction in usage of electricity during the period of peak demand will ease the burden placed on the utility's system by growth in peak demand and may help delay or reduce the size of future rate increases.
Customers can learn more about ways to conserve energy at alliantenergy.com/energyefficiency.