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Alliant Energy encourages customers to use safe and energy-efficient practices this Thanksgiving

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – November 19, 2012 – Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), an Alliant Energy company, reminds its customers about the value and cost of energy as families gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday and prepare a special meal.

When compared to other products, electricity and natural gas represent a real and tangible value. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost of goods for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner for ten people is $49.48. That’s 28 cents, or about 0.56 percent higher from last year. The price of electricity to make that meal for Alliant Energy customers in Iowa decreased this year compared to last by seven cents, or about 4.6 percent.

“Alliant Energy works hard to control our costs for customers, and to keep increases to a minimum,” said Tom Aller, President – IPL. “On this holiday weekend, we encourage everyone to take advantage of energy-efficiency and to stay safe.”

Alliant Energy also offers the following energy efficiency cooking tips to practice when preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner to maximize your energy value:

·          Coast to the finish: Food keeps cooking even after you turn off the burner. When food is almost ready, turn off the oven or burners and let existing heat finish the cooking for you.

·          The turkey is traditionally stuffed early in the morning and roasted for hours. Since it’s a long, slow cook, there’s no need to preheat your oven, even when the recipe suggests it. This also holds true for a holiday ham. In fact, unless you’re baking breads or pastries, you may not need to preheat the oven at all.

·          If your holiday cooking doesn’t heat up your house, your guests will. Turn your thermostat down 3 to 5 degrees to save energy while staying comfortable.

·          When using an electric oven, cook as much of your meal in it at one time as possible. Foods with different cooking temperatures can often be cooked simultaneously – variations of 25 degrees Fahrenheit in either direction still produce good results and save energy.

·          Shut the door: This Thanksgiving, resist the urge to open the oven door, as doing so will decrease the temperature inside by 25 to 30 degrees. Use your oven light and look through the window instead to keep the oven hot and the kitchen comfortable.

·          Use glass or ceramic pans, they heat faster than metal pans and the cooking temperature may be lowered by 25°F, reducing energy use.

·          Don’t overlook the other cooking appliances at Thanksgiving. Fast and efficient microwave ovens use around 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens.

·          When cleaning up after dinner, do not use your oven’s self-cleaning cycle unless you have a major cleaning job on your hands.  Wipe up minor spills and splatters with a damp cloth. If you do use the self-clean, start it while the oven is still hot.

·          Running a dishwasher with a full load of dishes usually uses less hot water than doing them by hand.

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