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Current State Nov 2023

As Alliant Energy requests a rate hike, the case for utility resource planning is more clear than ever

With electricity rates expected to be a hot topic in the 2024 state legislative session, it appears nearly everyone is calling for greater utility transparency, especially as Alliant Energy seeks to increase customer rates in 2024 by an average of $10 a month and a further $7 a month average increase in 2025. That means Alliant customers will likely be paying an additional $200 a year by 2025!

In the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers tasked the Iowa Utilities Board with reviewing the 22-year-old ratemaking laws which govern the big energy monopolies, MidAmerican and Alliant. This resulted in a trio of intense stakeholder discussions at the IUB which IEC participated in, along with other stakeholders in the business, industry, and municipal sectors, as well as the utilities themselves.

The official report and recommendations from this stakeholder process have not yet been published, but certain ideas clearly emerged. Nearly all energy customers and their advocates united in a call for greater transparency and planning from the utilities - formalized in other states as Integrated Resource Plans or IRPs - to show customers that the rates they pay are truly reasonable.  As rates climb in Alliant service territory, it is creating a real barrier to economic development and squeezing small businesses and families. The legislature must act to fix this problem.

As we prepare for further discussions on the ratemaking process, IEC is producing a series of educational videos to dig deeper into utility planning and shed light on how (the lack of) planning impacts our energy rates. We'll also tell you what can do to ensure Iowa utilities provide your family, your business, and your community with clean, reliable generation at fair, reasonable rates.  

Alliant Rate Increase report from KCCI

KCCI reports on the proposed rate hike request from Alliant Energy

IEC staff attended the stakeholder discussions earlier this year

Watch the informational video series


Iowa Energy News 

Power lines and the people: How transmission can benefit all

The Iowa Environmental Council was honored to host Veronica Ung-Kono of the National Wildlife Federation earlier this month for a guest presentation on how considering equity and just transition in the planning and construction of high-voltage electric transmission projects can benefit the community and the environment.

One such tool is a community benefit agreement, which encourages revenue sharing, using local labor, and more. 

Read more in Ms. Ung-Kono's guest piece on IEC's blog.

Coal plant pollution proves even more dangerous than thought

As reported by The Guardian, a new report showed particulate pollution spewed from coal plant smokestacks caused twice as many premature deaths as previously thought.

Coal plants emit tiny toxic air pollutants known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which people breathe in; this elevates the risk of an array medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, low birth weights, and some cancers.

According to 2022 emissions data reported to the DNR, coal plants were responsible for more than 30% of particulate matter pollution in Iowa.

Legislators Learn about a Solar Project in Ottumwa

Legislators see and hear positive feedback on clean energy 

State legislators joined solar entrepreneurs and union electricians for tours hosted by IEC in Burlington and Ottumwa earlier this month, visiting solar energy projects at schools, a grocery store, a church, and a machine shop, as well as a local home that had benefited from energy-efficiency upgrades.

Legislators heard from the businesses and workers who built the projects as well as the owners, who spoke highly of how solar was slashing their energy costs.

Read more to learn how these types of events set the stage for the upcoming legislative session. 

Featured Videos

Watch Now: Put the Power Back in the Hands of Iowa Customers

Iowa's electricity system largely acts out of the spotlight, leaving customers in the dark about how it all works and what factors determine our energy costs. It's time to flip the switch and put the power into the hands of customers. This is the first in a series of informational videos about how the energy sector works and what we citizens can do to push for better control of ever-increasing electricity rates. 

Video 1: Iowa's Energy Sector Today

In the first video in our series, we explore how Iowans get electricity. Iowa's energy sector is dominated by two large private monopolies: MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy (aka Interstate Power & Light). How do they generate the power we use every day in our homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals?

Video 2: How Iowa's Utilites Make Profits

In the second video of our series, we shed light on what goes into determining what you're charged on your utility bill. Hint: it's a lot more than just the electricity you use. The laws and incentives currently in place allow for the power companies to make big profits while passing on nearly all of their overhead costs to us, the customer, who have no alternative energy provider.

Upcoming Energy Events

12/2: Honoring our past, building our future - 1000 Friends of Iowa 25th Annual Meeting, Des Moines

12/5: ADAPT DSM Celebration & Press Conference, Des Moines

12/7: Coffee with Clean Up MidAm, Des Moines & Online

12/13: Motor Vehicle Electrification in Iowa webinar, Online

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

505 Fifth Ave. Suite 850 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317

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