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IUB studying recommendations for state utility ratemaking laws

This week, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) held the first of three public input and discussion sessions (“charettes”) to review state laws related to how utilities set their rates. These sessions will wrap up in early November and result in a set of recommendations to be considered in the 2024 Legislative Session.

This process stemmed from the passage this year of House File 617, which required the IUB to undertake this review with a focus on “ensuring safe, adequate, reliable, and affordable utility services provided at rates that are nondiscriminatory, just, reasonable, and based on the utility’s cost of providing service to its customers within Iowa.” The IUB has hired consulting firm London Economics to convene stakeholders and perform the required analysis in Docket No. NOI-2023-0001.   

This is a critical moment for Iowa as the state has not reformed its regulations governing the energy sector since 2001. The 2001 law delivered a sea change in how the state regulated utilities and enabled the rapid expansion of wind energy in Iowa. However, massive transformations in energy markets and technologies have revealed shortcomings in Iowa’s approach and led to questions about whether it is time to update Iowa’s framework for regulating utilities.  

“It’s been more than two decades, and now is the time to adopt a future-focused approach to regulating utilities that can deliver clean energy at the lowest cost to ratepayers,” says Kerri Johannsen, Energy Program Director with the Iowa Environmental Council. 


IEC staff attended the first charrette


Iowa Energy News 

The Inflation Reduction Act, Year One In Review

One year ago, the nation celebrated the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – marking the largest-ever federal investment in Climate Action.

The law addresses climate issues through renewable energy investment, clean energy tax credits, energy efficiency and electrification rebate programs, and much more. Between the creation of hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and investment in clean technology and manufacturing, the United States is already seeing a significant return on investment. 

Join us in celebrating this landmark law & learn more about what's in store for Iowa in a new blog post.

August Brings Heat and Smoke, Stresses Power Grid

August 2023 had some of the hottest days on record for Iowa, pushing temps above 100F across much of the state.

This summer has also seen waves of smokey air roll through, a product of a multitude of climate change-induced wildfires throughout Canada.

These events put enormous pressure on the power grid, which ironically meant more coal and gas being burned to keep air conditioning running. The time has clearly come to accelerate adoption of carbon-free energy and the swift retirement of polluting coal plants. Join the movement to close the remaining fossil fuel plants in Iowa.

Photo courtesy of Iowa News Now

Majority of Americans Support Increases to Wind and Solar Power

Recent polls conducted by Pew Research demonstrate that 66% of American adults support wind and solar power, and think the government should do more to encourage more renewable projects.

That same survey found that only 20% of adults support investing in coal power, and just 31% support oil and gas.

Political affiliation had a strong correlation, but so did age, with a majority of young people, regardless of political alignment, supporting a carbon-neutral energy goal for the US.


Environmental champions to be honored at Green Gala & Art Auction

Registration is open for IEC's second annual Green Gala & Art Auction taking place on Thursday, September 14, where we'll celebrate Iowa's clean energy leadership through art, music, and inspiring awards. Meet our honorees:

Hannah Hayes -
Youth Champion 

Hannah Hayes, a metro-area high schooler, has no problem using her voice to speak out against climate change. 

Earlier this year, she had the opportunity to directly challenge Warren Buffet with a question about  MidAm's climate pollution at the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting and she continues to speak out on the issue across the state.  

Great Plains Action Society - Community Champion

Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil, organizers with Great Plains Action Society, are engaging at levels to move policymakers and corporations away from fossil fuels.

The group has become increasingly active with Clean Up MidAm, using their voice and perspective to organize and call for action to protect the health of the land and its people. 

Kelly Needles and The Energy Group - Impact through Advocacy

Kelly Needles and his team at The Energy Group were key partners and leaders on energy efficiency issues following the legislature's adoption of SF 2311 in 2018, which decimated the state's energy efficiency programs.

Kelly's understanding of the importance of policy and advocacy were critical to aiding and advancing IEC's work on energy efficiency.

Anne Kimber and ISU - Business Innovation

Anne Kimber, director of the Electric Power Research Center at ISU, is leading a new local research project into the growing field of agri-voltaics.

Her research project, in partnership with Alliant Energy's new 10-acre solar array at ISU, aims to better understand the relationship and potential of solar panels and crops grown on-site.

Featured Video

Watch Now: The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) One Year in Results

One year ago, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law. The IRA is the largest climate investment in U.S. History, supporting $370 billion in programs that benefit households, businesses, and communities. Implementation of IRA programs put the country on the path of reducing emissions 40% by 2030. Learn more about the impacts of this legislation with this short video from Canary Media, and you can learn about the programs available to you by visiting the Iowa Energy and Infrastructure Funding Hub.

Upcoming IEC Events

Join IEC and partners for an educational meeting and community listening session on Thursday, September 7 in Sioux City.
Hear from Iowa Environmental Council policy experts about the water and air quality hazards caused by MidAmerican Energy Company’s coal plants in Woodbury County, engage with community members impacted by coal pollution, and learn how you can take action that speeds the clean energy transition in Siouxland.

RSVP for this free event or share with someone you know in the community.

Registration is open for IEC's second annual Green Gala & Art Auction on Thursday, September 14 at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines.

We'll be celebrating Iowa's clean energy leadership through art, music, food and inspiring awards.   

Don your best green attire and enjoy live music, locally-sourced bites, a full bar with hosted beer and wine, delightful gifts, and the chance to support IEC's work by bidding on specially curated art for the cause. 

Get a sneak peek of the art up for auction and then get your tickets to join us!

IEC will present its annual Condition of the State report online on Wednesday, September 20 at 11:30am CST.

IEC Energy Policy Counsel Steve Guyer will present information from the soon-to-be-released report, which analyzes developments in Iowa's energy generation mix, calculates environmental and health impacts of fossil fuel generation, and tracks how the state is fairing in the push toward a carbon-free electrical grid.

Register now for this free presentation.

Upcoming Energy Events

9/7: Building Decarbonization 101, MWBDC

9/7: Coal in Siouxland: Water, Air, and Your Health, IEC, Great Plains Action Society, Sierra Club, Clean Up MidAm

9/14: Green Gala and Art Auction, IEC

9/18 - 9/23: 4th Annual Iowa City Climate Fest, Iowa City

9/20: Iowa's Electric Generation: Condition of the State 2023, IEC

9/30: Ames EcoFair, City of Ames

Have an relevant event we don't have listed here? Submit an event for our Event Calendar.

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Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317

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