Electric Vehicles Are Greener, All Things Considered

Andy Johnson, Executive Director While it’s true that electric vehicles generally cost about half as much to drive in fuel compared to gasoline/diesel … We often get asked “are they really better for climate and the environment, given that fossil fuels still dominate electricity production, and batteries have a significant impact too?” The Union of Concerned Scientists has repeatedly demonstrated the lower fuel-related emissions of grid-powered EVs relative to gasoline

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Watts Cooking?

Martin Donovan, Green Iowa Americorps When you’re cooking up ways to increase the efficiency of your home, upgrading your stove to an induction cooktop could be a fun and useful thing to consider. Unlike electric or gas cooktops, induction burners directly heat pots and pans. But what does direct heat actually mean? When cooking with electric stoves, a lot of energy is used to heat metal coils which then heats

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First Step Home Audit Signups Re-open for Vaccinated Families

Is every member of your household fully vaccinated against Covid-19? If so, the Green Iowa Americorps team is excited to offer you a First Step Home Energy Audit! Call our office (563) 382-4207 to schedule your appointment.  We will require all applicants to complete and sign a form listing all members of a household and providing their dates and types of vaccination. An audit will be scheduled no sooner than

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Solar in 2021

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner 2021 is going to be another exciting year for solar. It’s a big deal that federal tax credits have been extended, net-metering laws are in place for Iowa’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy) that give long term peace of mind to solar owners, AND the state legislature is looking at renewing and extending the state solar tax credit. Meanwhile, installed prices continue their

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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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What you need to know about solar in 2020

Interested in investing in solar for your home, farm, or business? 2020 is the perfect time to go solar!  A combination of low solar costs combined with federal and state tax credits (which are decreasing each year) and rising electricity rates makes now a great time to install solar. Our very own Joel Zook, energy planner at Winneshiek Energy District, holistically details the need-to-know concepts for anyone considering the benefits

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LED Holiday Lights

LED Holiday Lights

This article is an excerpt from the Department of Energy’s page on LED lighting. We love how it takes into account the longevity of an LED strand and lays out the math of electrical use. LED Holiday Lights LEDs consume far less electricity than incandescent bulbs, and decorative LED light strings such as Christmas tree lights are no different. Not only do LED holiday lights consume less electricity, they also

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Decorah Bank and Trust: A key partner for Energy Efficiency

Decorah Bank and Trust: A key partner for Energy Efficiency

By: Briana Burke, Green Iowa AmeriCorps NE Iowa’s Energy-Efficiency Triad In 2017 an estimated 66.7% to 86% of energy production in the United States was wasted (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2017). In a time when we are facing a climate crisis, we are not only the single largest per-capita producers of greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change, but well over half of our emissions end up in the atmosphere

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Energy Burden in Rural America

Energy Burden in Rural America

Joel Zook, Energy Planner The ACEEE article shared in this newsletter shows that rural American households are one-third more likely to be energy burdened than the average US household. There are several ways to calculate “energy burden” and not one agreed-upon definition. ACEEE defines “Energy Burdened” households as those who spend 6% of their annual income energy bills (electricity and heating fuel). In last month’s newsletter, we highlighted the fact

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Tax Credits: Our Take

Tax Credits: Our Take

Andy Johnson, Executive Director With the potential phase-out of various tax credits, we’re often asked (or we offer) our perspective. Here it is, in brief. Renewable energy tax credits have worked: they have driven the scaling up of the industry, driven down costs, and driven market transformation and job creation, which to a large degree is what they’re meant to do. Tax credits are not an equitable approach to incentivizing a clean energy transition.

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