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Colder temperatures are likely to create higher energy bills for Iowans

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - With the freezing temperatures earlier this month, Iowans are using more energy to heat their homes and businesses. But, a spokesperson for Alliant Energy said those higher electric bills will not be similar to those eye-popping numbers in some other states, like Texas.

In Texas, some electric bills skyrocketed to nearly $17,000 because of winter weather. Mike Wagner, who is a spokesperson for Alliant Energy, said Iowans won’t see their bills skyrocket the same way as Texas; but will likely see a higher bill because people are using more energy.

“If it’s -10 outside but you’re trying to keep your house at 65, your furnace has to make up a 75-degree gap,” Wagner said. “So a lot of customers are using more electricity more natural gas. We are expecting to see some increases on their next bill.”

Wagner couldn’t give an exact number at what the increase will look like this month.

Regardless of the increase, businesses like Papa Juan’s Mexican Grille on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids will have to pay it. Bianca Cavin, who is the manager, said the restaurant normally spends about $2,000 a month on electricity. She said she’ll have to attract more customers if the electricity goes up.

For homeowners needing help to stay warm, HACAP helps coordinate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LI-HEAP). LI-HEAP is a program, which provides payments to a heating utility.

Chris Ackman, who is the communications and volunteers manager at HACAP, said the phones for energy assistance programs are the busiest when it’s cold outside.

“This time of year, the phones are ringing quite often,” Ackman said.

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