EV Q&A with Kelly Bachelder from KAR Auto Group in Decorah

Joel Zook, Energy Planner KAR Auto group owns Decorah Auto Center (Ford and Lincoln), Decorah Chevrolet, Decorah Chrysler, and Albertson Auto Group (in Spillville). A lot has happened over the past year with electric vehicles. Are we seeing national announcements of new models translating to local interest? Yes, we’ve had lots of interest; we’ve had lots of reservations. The process is moving slowly from the manufacturing side as they ramp

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Green Iowa Americorps Team Update

This year’s GIA team is small but mighty!  Max has been working with WED since June and Maddi joined us in December. Since the start of their terms, the team has been completing energy efficiency efforts and volunteering around our community. With COVID numbers back up, the team has been focusing their efficiency efforts on Bright Boxes.  These boxes of custom packed lightbulbs offer households in our community high energy

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State and Federal Policy Updates for 2022

Maddi MacDonald, Green Iowa Americorps Logistics Coordinator On January 18th, 2022, Steve Falck from Environmental Law and Policy Center joined Clean Energy District of Iowa’s Executive Director, Andy Johnson to discuss this year’s state and federal policy priorities. Bills proposed last year are still working their way through the legislatures.  Current Energy Policy in Iowa: Residential Solar Tax Credit Many Iowan’s are still advocating for funding the tax credit waiting

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Task Force Asks Utilities Board For Assistance

Andy Johnson, Executive Director The City of Decorah’s Municipal Electric Utility Task Force (TF) is charged with a community engagement and learning process, and commissioning a new or updated feasibility study. In order to avoid the divisiveness of competing studies, the TF requested a comprehensive data set from Alliant twice during 2021, and was twice denied. The City then submitted a “Customer Transparency Request” to the Iowa Utilities Board through

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Electric Trucks – 2022 Update

Joel Zook, Energy Planner 2022 started off with an announcement from Ford that it will double production of its Ford Lightning to 150,000 vehicles per year. Ford revealed the Ford F150 Lightning in May of 2021, with preorders available for vehicles rolling off the line in spring 2022. The decision to increase production was likely due to the popularity of the newly launched EV and the large number of reservation.

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Clean Energy Districts of Iowa Joins Settlement Agreement in Black Hills Energy Rate Case

Jim Martin-Schramm, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa The Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI) has agreed to join a settlement agreement regarding a proposal by Black Hills Energy (BHE) to increase natural gas base rates. The agreement achieves the majority of objectives CEDI pursued in its testimony. “We’re pleased with the settlement agreement” stated Jim Martin-Schramm, who developed the testimony for CEDI. “Some level of increase was inevitable, and any

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November Energy Lunch: Community Foundations + Energy Districts

Max Walker, Green Iowa Americorps For the November installment of our Energy Lunch, the Winneshiek Energy District hosted MJ Smith, who presented on the mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to strengthen small Iowa communities, particularly for their next generation. MJ is the senior affiliate advisor of this foundation, and has done this work for 15 years. The mission for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) was

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Energy Saving Steps Can Reduce Winter Heating Costs

This story ran in the October 20, 2021 edition of the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, and is reprinted with permission. With heating bills expected to rise this winter, there are a number of ways that farmers and rural residents can save on energy costs during the winter.  Joel Zook, a certified energy manager and a National Re­sources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical service provider, says a good place to start is

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Action Alert: Iowa Homeowners Set To Lose Millions In Promised Solar Tax Credits

Andy Johnson, Executive Director For years, Iowa homeowners have been told the state’s solar tax credit is available for solar systems installed through 2021.  Now it appears the State of Iowa is about to break that promise. Iowa’s budget is strong and the solution is straightforward – if the Republican-controlled Legislature acts. First we’ll explain the problem, then return to the solution (hint: your state legislators need to hear from

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Here Comes the Sun: Solar Friendly Ordinances

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner WED Energy Planner Joel Zook recently participated in Here Comes the Sun: Solar Friendly Ordinances for communities, a webinar to help communities think through how to best zone for solar. As more and more Iowans are adding solar to their homes and businesses, communities are wrestling with how to create zoning codes that allow for solar installations while maintaining the character of their communities. From

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