Winneshiek Energy District

Iowa-Midwest Energy District Conference 2016

When: December 8-9, 2016

Where: Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah, Iowa

Host: Winneshiek Energy District (Home of the first Energy District in the Nation) together with partners Clayton County Energy District and Howard County Energy District (in formation)

(Scroll down for Agenda, Registration, and Lodging)

Why:  Worried about clean energy policy? Ask not what will or will not happen in Washington; roll up your sleeves and let's get the job done. Learn more about the"universal local" Energy District model here. Use or adapt our press release, or the more contextual op-ed.

When was the last time you attended an energy/climate conference ...

  • rooted in a theory of change that all energy is local, structures are replicable, and "universal local" is the foundation of movement building?
  • located and firmly grounded where the real work is - and must be - happening?
  • bringing together implementers, thinkers, legislators, and funders?
  • setting a humble, achievable goal to change the course of history (if you come)?


Each of the two days of this working conference will engage participants in defining the future of the Energy District movement at the regional, state and national levels. Each half day will include a cycle of presentation briefs, break-out small group work sessions, and rejoinder discussion (which may take place during or spill over into lunch). The agenda below is in flux and specifics will evolve as the date approaches based, in part, on your input. Please feel free to register for one or both days.

Thursday December 8: The "Universal Local" Energy District Model, and How To Start An Energy District

7:30 to 9:00 Pre-conference: USDOE and Midwest Renewable Energy Association "Solar In Your Community Challenge" information and application workshop (free but please register below)

9:30 to 12:30  Conference Opening Session: Why Universal Local? Innovation Repeats Itself: the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Model. Core Functions of Energy Districts.

12:30 to 1:30  Lunch (included in the registration, along with refreshments available throughout the day)

1:30 to 5:00  Green Meets Green: powerful synergies in economic development and climate stewardship; How To Start An Energy District In Your Home Place.

5:00 to 6:30  Energy Hour at Hotel Winneshiek (our conference host)

6:00 to 7:30 TENTATIVE: Energy District funders discussion and working supper

Friday December 9 TRACK 1:  Collaborative Drafting of Model Energy District Enabling Act for State Legislatures*

9:30 to 12:30  Deep Dive Into Legislation Components: legal structure/local establishment; powers and responsibilities; funding; and more

12:30 to 1:30  Lunch (included in the registration, along with refreshments throughout the day)

1:30 to 4:00  Deep Dive (cont); Strategies For Legislative Leadership; Key State Options And Partnerships

*In 1937 the Roosevelt Administration created a model Soil Conservation District enabling act that was subsequently adopted (with variations) by all 50 states. Will a model Energy District enabling act be born in Iowa, and spread from here? You can help answer that question. 

Friday December 9 TRACK 2 (8:30am - 4:30pm):   "Basic Photovoltaics: Solar PV 101" 8-hour course offered by Midwest Renewable Energy Association (note lunch is included, and the hyperlink is for course information purposes only, you must register on this page below)



Register via the embedded form below, or if problems, go to the form on a separate page

Fill out my online form.



Our conference host, the historic downtown Hotel Winneshiek, has reserved a block of rooms for attendees. Please contact them directly for rates and availability: 800.998.4164, Hotel Winneshiek

Decorah is rich in lodging opportunities, from B&Bs to cabins and camping to guest houses and of course hotels. See the Visit Decorah site for the full range of options.

Decorah is also an amazing community for recreation, arts and entertainment, or simple relaxation. Bring your partner, family or friends, and stay for the weekend!