Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in Iowa plant to ramp up energy efficiency programs in the next few years, according to reports filed last week with the state.
Iowa's electric cooperatives plan to collectively spend an average of $14 million annually between 2010 and 2014, or more than $71 million over five years, to encourage energy efficiency by customers, according to a report filed by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives to the Iowa Utilities Board. That's about 30 percent more annually than they already spend.
The investments are expected to save 4.2 billion kilowatt hours during the five-year period, enough to power about 30 percent of the homes in Iowa for a year with electricity.
The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities said electric utilities can reduce consumption by an average of 1.1 percent by 2012 and gas utilities can reduce consumption by 0.74 percent.
For 2012, municipal utilities expect to lower electric consumption by 47,274 megawatt hours, the report said. Municipal gas utilities expect to reduce consumption by 405,832 in 2012. The utilities will employ strategies such as rebates on Energy Star appliances and on more efficient residential and commercial lighting.
They also will offer programs such as residential energy audits, and rebates for high-efficiency heating, cooling, and water heating systems.
The reports required extensive analysis by both groups and are in response to a 2008 Iowa law requiring utilities to establish energy efficiency goals and design programs to achieve while reporting them to the Iowa Utilities Board by Jan. 31.
The full reports are available online at the Iowa Utilities Board's electronic document search site.