On December 21, Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, along with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress released the Iowa Energy Plan. The plan will serve as a guide for the development of an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system within the state that maximizes Iowa’s economic potential.
The Iowa Energy plan is the result of a yearlong collaboration between state government, utilities, universities, business organizations, nonprofits, energy trade organizations and the public. As part of the plan’s stakeholder engagement effort, six public forums were held throughout Iowa in March and April to provide members of the public with an opportunity to share input. To leverage expertise from a variety of disciplines and industries, 48 individuals were selected through an application process to form four working groups. These four working groups were aligned with the strategic energy pillars identified as integral to the development of the plan, they include: 1) economic development and energy careers, 2) Iowa’s energy resources, 3) transportation and infrastructure and 4) energy efficiency and conservation. Working group members met over a six-month period to provide input to shape the recommended objectives for each pillar.
Energy Efficiency Objectives
The energy efficiency and conservation working group members identified three objectives: 1) increase the energy efficiency and decrease the operating costs of Iowa’s existing and new buildings in all sectors, 2) encourage the expansion and diversification of energy resources, incentives and programs and 3) lead by example in Iowa’s government practices. To achieve these objectives, several strategies were identified, including benchmarking commercial and industrial utility rates to similar states, benchmarking industrial sector ratepayer program contributions, reinvesting public building energy savings in infrastructure, combined heat and power opportunity analysis, improve building energy code compliance, foster collaboration between the state energy office and Iowa Energy Center and expand the existing public building benchmarking program.
The next phase of the Iowa Energy Plan will involve the implementation of the identified objectives and strategies. Entities involved in the development of the plan, as well as additional stakeholders and members of the public, are invited to reconvene to discuss successful plan implementation. Look to the Iowa Energy plan website or join the Iowa Energy plan email listserv for more information regarding the specifics in the near future.
For questions about MEEA’s resources and activities related to energy efficiency policy in Iowa, please contact Policy Associate Leah Scull at email@example.com.