The Ottumwa Courier

January 31, 2014

Help for high heating costs

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Alliant Energy is helping out in a big way with the high heating costs from this winter.

“It’s been an unusual year for customers,” said Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Lighting with Alliant Energy.

As part of their Hometown Care Energy Fund, Alliant Energy was able to donate $3 million to help income-eligible customers across its service area with high heating costs. Part of that donation was given to the Southern Iowa Economic Development Association (SIEDA) Friday afternoon in the form of a $198,000 check.

“This is remarkable,” Brian Dunn, SIEDA executive director, said. “I think we’ll put it to good use.”

Alliant Energy’s Hometown Care Energy Fund collects donations from shareowners, employees, retirees and customers. The donations are then distributed by community action agencies, such as SIEDA, to those who are unable to keep up with the high costs of heating.

Aller and Chris Messer, senior manager of customer operations at the Ottumwa Alliant Energy facility, were on hand to deliver the check to Dunn and Ned VanNostrand of SIEDA’s housing department Friday at the new SIEDA location on Main Street in Ottumwa.

“Without SIEDA, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing here,” Aller said.

Those who are unsure if they meet the guidelines to receive aid with heating costs are encouraged to contact SIEDA or visit

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh