Clean Energy Districts of Iowa Formed

Lyle Luzum, Board Chair

The Winneshiek Energy District was formed in 2010 to lead, implement, and accelerate the clean energy transition in Winneshiek County. One additional part of our mission has been to help others understand the concept of an energy district, create a replicable model, and to assist other counties who want to start one. In recent years, that has begun to happen, and it is accelerating.

Currently, Energy Districts are operational in Clayton, Howard, Dubuque, Johnson, and Delaware counties. They are in-formation in Allamakee, Jackson, and Polk counties. Other counties continue to inquire. In addition, interest in the energy district concept has come from Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. Plus, energy districts (and WED specifically) are recognized as part of a larger solution by at least one presidential candidate. (Note: WED, while grateful for the recognition, does not endorse candidates.)

Because of the growth in energy districts, it became clear that an association of energy districts is needed to support the energy district formation and operation process. Additionally, the energy district concept is increasingly finding support among regional and national level funders who want to support what energy districts represent, but can’t or won’t duplicate their support among individual county organizations. An umbrella organization is needed.

The result is the newly formed Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI). Because WED is the “mother ship” of this concept and still contains much of the expertise, Andy Johnson, founder and Executive Director of WED also now serves as Executive Director of CEDI. Lyle Luzum, WED Board Chair, is serving as initial Chair of CEDI.

The purpose of CEDI is:

“to enable and support leadership and the general public in implementing and accelerating the locally-owned, clean, efficient and fair energy transition through

  • Continued development of the concept of Energy Districts as local institutions leading the clean energy transition in every county
  • Partnership with local clean energy leaders interested in starting an Energy District, and with organizations supporting the development and spread of the Energy District model
  • Service to existing Energy Districts and their public through enabling technical and financial tools, network coordination, and other means.”

It is gratifying and exciting to see an idea that originated right here, and with your support, gain traction.

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