Iowa Clean Energy Leadership
Winneshiek Energy District programs and services are largely centered around catalyzing a clean energy transition in Winneshiek County and Northeast Iowa. We're also, however, increasingly involved in expanding the Energy District model in Iowa, the Midwest and beyond, and in engaging constructively in Iowa energy policy together with partners around Iowa.
For more information on Energy District replication and the creation of a "universal local infrastructure" where green meets green in clean energy, see this page (it's skeletal, but growing!)
For more information specifically on Net Metering in Iowa, the Distributed Generation docket at the Iowa Utilities Board, and the utilities plans to eliminate the net metering option for customers, see our distributed generation page.
To contribute to the discussion on where Iowa should be going in the energy world, have your say RIGHT NOW via the Iowa Energy Plan public participation options. The Iowa Energy Plan "is a means to set state priorities and provide strategic guidance for decision-making while working to encourage energy, economic, and environmental benefits through the goals and recommendations it sets forth." It is actually a process that includes a working group of Iowa stakeholders (your Energy District is a member), extensive analysis, and public participation. You can have your say by submitting comments online, via email, or attending a public forum.
A few suggested talking points include:
- The economic development potential of economy-wide clean energy transition is huge, but must be considered on a "universal local" level as well as statewide. It's not simply a question of the state level "energy trade deficit" and how jobs and economic activity are created by keeping those dollars in the state, but also how those jobs and dollars are retained and multiplied in every county and community (and legislative district) in the state through policies that simultaneously address local "energy/economic trade deficits".
- Energy Districts hold tremendous potential to lead the local "green meets green" energy transition efforts in every county in Iowa. Iowa does local well, and the creation of state Energy District authorizing legislation (similar to legislation authorizing county-level Soil and Water Conservation Districts in every county) and a state-local partnerhsip would yet again put Iowa at the forefront of clean energy innovation and leadership (in addition to our current renewable energy and energy efficiency accomplishments).
- Climate Change needs to be a core part of Iowa Energy Plan development, suggesting a focus on strategies and policies that simultaneously accomplish distributed economic development, promote distributed clean energy (efficiency and renewables), and careful planning for resilient communities. Iowans do stewardship well, and we commend Governor Branstad's participation in the recent Governor's Accord for a New Energy Future, and continued stakeholder involvement in preparing for Clean Power Plan implementation.
- In the electricity sector, local customer and community owned solar represents the greatest potential for locally-led clean energy development and "energy democracy" we've seen since the early days of the grid. We applaud accelerated utility building of wind and solar, but the grid must remain open on fair terms to the rest of us as well. Net Metering is imperfect but currently represents the fairest "balance of costs and benefits" we have, and the Iowa Utility Board should not allow utilities to take proposed steps in elimination of net metering. Learn more, and see the Energy Districts recent testimony to the Utilities Board, on our net metering and distributed generation docket page.
Note, this link takes you to the handouts provided by the facilitators at the public forms, which are a good summary of Iowa's current energy usage and trade imbalance statewide.