Iowa Electric Co-ops Investing More Money in Energy-Efficiency Programs

Iowa Electric Co-ops Investing More Money in Energy-Efficiency Programs

Electric cooperatives plan to spend more than $71 million in next five years on energy-efficiency programs for member-consumers.

Electric cooperative member-consumers who use their electric co-ops' energy-efficiency programs in the next five years are projected to save enough electricity to power approximately 350,000 homes for one year.

During the five-year period, 2010 to 2014, Iowa's electric cooperatives plan on investing $71.5 million on new and existing energy-efficiency programs for homes, farms and businesses in their service areas, which includes parts of all of Iowa's 99 counties. The investment and resulting energy savings are in the Electric Cooperatives' Joint Energy-Efficiency Report filed Dec. 31, 2009, with the Iowa Utilities Board. The report was the result of an 18-month, in-depth assessment of electric co-ops' energy-efficiency programs, which was used to set the co-ops' energy-efficiency goals for the next five years.

Energy saving enough to power 350,000 homes for one year

"Electric cooperatives across Iowa have established a robust set of cost-effective, energy-efficiency programs available for their member-consumers to participate in during the five-year period of 2010 to 2014," the report's executive summary states.

Approximately 500 electric co-op directors, managers and staff, and employees of two independent engineering firms started working on the project by July 1, 2008. The report was required by Senate File 2386, passed by the 2008 Iowa General Assembly.

"While Senate File 2386 focuses on the economics of energy efficiency, it is important to acknowledge that there are greenhouse gas emissions reductions associated with less electricity being produced because of energy efficiency," according to the executive summary.

This will be a 30% increase in average annual investment

According to the report, the $14 million average annual investment in energy-efficiency programs between 2010 and 2014 is a 30% increase compared to the last report filed July 1, 2008, with the Iowa Utilities Board. That report showed that in 2007, electric co-ops invested approximately $10.8 million in energy-efficiency programs.

"Electric cooperative member-consumers that participate in the cost-effective, energy-efficiency programs offered by their co-op help themselves, help fellow member-consumers, help their electric co-op and help with fulfilling the cooperative principle of concern for community by providing safe, environmentally responsible, available, reliable and affordable power, all of which are good for Iowa," the executive summary concludes.

The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, formed in 1942, represents the interests of and provides support to the electric cooperatives that provide power in each of Iowa's 99 counties to approximately 650,000 people. For more information contact Allan Urlis, director of communications at 515-727-8945 or [email protected].

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