Tax Credit for EV Chargers

Last month we wrote about tax credits for energy efficiency and geothermal and we’ve talked a lot about the available – and phasing out – tax credits for solar. Did you know that there are tax credits for electric vehicle chargers too? You can get up to 30% of the cost of your charger, including installation costs, capped at $1,000. This tax credit is retroactive so if you installed an

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2020 Electric Vehicle Showcase

The Decorah Farmers Market has a new booth this fall: Winneshiek Energy District’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Tent! For eight weeks, the Winneshiek Energy District is setting up a pop-up canopy at the farmers market and bringing a local EV and it’s owner to downtown Decorah. We wanted to show our community a sampling of the wide range of EV options on the market and give them a chance to ask

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Green Iowa Team Finishes Service Year

The 2019-2020 Americorps team wrapped up their service year in mid-August.  The team of 5 full-time and 3 summer members made an incredible impact in our community! Between September of 2019 and March of 2020, the team completed 52 audits across 6 counties.  They changed over 1500 lightbulbs, saving families in our community over $9000 dollars and eliminating 80 metric tons of carbon emissions. That is the equivalent of taking

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Iowa’s Net Metering Saga Continues

Remember March, before the world turned upside down? It was actually a remarkable month for clean energy in Iowa. The Legislature unanimously passed SF 583, which codified net metering for Iowa’s investor owned utilities until about 2027.  By the time the Governor signed the bill, most attention was elsewhere. We wrote about the new law with excitement, and also cautioned that the devil may be in the implementation details. Sure

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2020 Alliant Residential Rebates

Joel Zook, Energy Planner Alliant Energy has doubled the amount of their residential rebates and dramatically increased the rebate amount for their small business lighting rebate program.  The increased rebate levels are only good through the end of the year so act now to take advantage of them. If you’ve been thinking of upgrading your home’s cooling system, or adding a heat pump to supplement your gas furnace, act now

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Tax Credits – Not Just Solar

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner We’ve talked a lot here at the energy district about the phase out of the solar tax credits, but it’s important to know that there are other tax credits for energy efficiency measures and geothermal heating and cooling systems that will also soon come to an end. First off, a little known tax credit was revived earlier this year that allows homeowners to claim a

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Policy Updates Discussed During July’s Energy Lunch 

July’s Energy Lunch featured an environmental policy panel consisting of Kerri Johannsen, of the Iowa Environmental Council; Steve Falck, of the Environmental Policy & Law Center; and our own Andy Johnson. The panelists covered a wide range of policy issues at the local, state, and national level.  Steven Falck began with an overview of a recent net metering petition to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC). The petition sought to

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June’s Energy Lunch: The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in Iowa

By Colin Weber, Green Iowa Member On June 23rd, Dr. Dennis Todey, director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub, gave a presentation entitled “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture in Iowa” for the Winneshiek Energy District’s monthly Online Lunch Webinar. Dr. Todey discussed how climate change, specifically changing rainfall amounts and temperatures, have impacted soil quality, growing season length, and crop production in Iowa. According to research gathered by

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FERC and the War on Net Metering

By Andy Johnson, Executive Director There is growing interest in what’s happening at the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) around net metering for customer-owned solar. We introduced the topic last issue, and provided a resource page on our web site. Here we’ll dive a little deeper. In April, a shadow group called the New England Ratepayer’s Association (NERA) submitted a petition to the FERC for a “declaratory order”. The NERA

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Bright Box Program Offers No-Contact Energy and Carbon Savings

by Jessica Hegdahl, Audit Coordinator There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and when it will be safe for the Winneshiek Energy District to resume in-home energy assessments. So we got creative! We are excited to share that Decorah’s Green Iowa AmeriCorps team is pioneering a no-contact home energy reduction program called Bright Box.  Our full home energy assessment includes a combination of combustion appliance safety testing, insulation analysis, a

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