An official with the Iowa Energy Center says Iowans can make some little changes to see big savings in their energy bills this summer. With humidity perhaps here to stay for the next month of so, Amy Swenson of the Iowa Energy Center has a few tips for Iowans looking to save energy and money.She says closing curtains through the day makes a big difference, as does having awnings on south-facing windows. She suggests delaying dish washing and laundry to early morning or late night hours, avoiding the middle of the day when demand for electricity is at its peak. Planting a shade tree is one of Swenson’s longer-term suggestions for reducing your electric bill. Fans around the house can also save some cash — they use less energy than air conditioners and can spread cool air down hallways and into other rooms. Swenson says the center found ceiling and other fans can increase cooling and circulation — while decreasing your energy bill. Some fans even have energy efficient florescent light bulbs that cut the energy used in half. She says money put into to being energy efficient — buying fans or programmable thermostats — is generally earned back through decreased electric bills. Swenson says folks who use programmable thermostats save up to 10 percent a year and those who invest in more energy efficient air conditioners notice a difference in their bill right away. Swenson says now a days being energy efficient “doesn’t mean going without.” New technologies have made it possible for new air conditioners to use less energy than the older ones — while still being efficient.MidAmerican energy, Iowa’s largest energy company, has base electric rates today that are lower than in 1995. MidAmerican executives say that means if your energy bills are bigger this summer, it means you’ve used more electricity. For more tips on saving energy and dollars this summer, check out the Iowa Energy center website at “” MidAmerican Energy also offers some money- and energy-saving tips at “”