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      It's possible to save energy and stay cool in the summer heat

      The hot, dry weather has been unrelenting across the Heartland this summer, with heat warnings and drought in place throughout much of the state.

      During these high temperatures, it's easy to want to crank up the air conditioning, but, believe it or not, there is a way to stay cool while still conserving energy.

      Alliant Energy's cycling program turns the air conditioning units of participating residents on and off in 15-minute intervals. When the unit is off, the furnace fan keeps the cool, dry air already in the room or home circulating. This system drastically cuts down on how much the company has to spend on generating energy.

      "Being able to reduce the amount of energy that we need to buy or purchase, generate, we're able to then not to have to buy as much energy when it's the most expensive," said Justin Foss, Communications Specialist for Alliant Energy.

      The program runs from June to September, and units are cycled as need be. Alliant pays participating customers $8 a month whether their units are cycled or not.

      If you want to sign up, all you need to do is contact Alliant Energy.

      "When you call us and sign up for it, we will send the technician to come out to your home and they will install small wireless switch outside your house next to your AC unit," Foss said. "That switch then allows us to send a signal when we need to make your AC unit cycle."

      Appliance Cycling events usually take place on weekdays between 1 p.m. 7 p.m. They are not initiated on weekends or holidays.