Winter won’t officially arrive until December 21st but the brutal cold of the season is already here in Iowa, with wind chill factors falling to 20- and 30-below zero lately.

With the extreme cold, it’s taking more energy to heat our homes, businesses and factories, but, Alliant Energy spokeswoman Heather Holmes is assuring customers natural gas supplies are plentiful this year. “There are no issues with natural gas and we have more than enough supply for our customers’ demand,” Holmes says. “It’s high but supply is not an issue.”

Holmes has some advice for Iowans who are worried that the higher energy demand has a high price tag that will be coming with next month’s utility bill. “If you think you’re going to be gone for four hours or more, turn the thermostat down a little,” Holmes says. “I know some people think if they turn it up and then turn it down, that it wastes more energy. But several studies have shown that if you’re going to be gone for four hours or more, go ahead and turn your thermostat down.”

Holmes says the unusually cold temperatures aren’t causing any service interruptions.