Heating bills are expected to be much higher this winter, but customers of an Iowa utility may soon be asked to -increase- their monthly bills in an effort to help the environment. John Ruff, a spokesman for Cedar Rapids-based Alliant Energy, say the company plans to ask state regulators for permission to let its customers to voluntarily add an average of five to ten dollars to their bills each month. Ruff says the money would go back into developing more alternative energy sources, like wind power or geothermal energy. Ruff believes many Iowans will support the gesture.Ruff says Alliant now only produces between five and ten percent of its energy through alternative sources. He says traditional power sources, like coal-fired and nuclear plants need to remain on-line.If the wind isn’t blowing, a wind farm doesn’t produce electricity, but demands must still be met. Ruff says the utility plans to approach the state utilities board with the issue in a few months.
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