Green Iowa Americorps Team Offers Free Tree Seedlings

In partnership with Winneshiek Energy District members, Kevin and Leslie Sand, our Green Iowa Americorps team created the Tiny Trees Initiative to make Decorah a little greener and help reduce the energy bills of Decorah residents through natural shade. A large shade tree should be planted 20 feet or more from the house to maximize the shade benefit and ensure the safety of your home (source).  If you think you

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Empowering Allamakee County

Jim Martin-Schramm, WED Board Member The Winneshiek Energy District (WED) recently received a modest grant from the Solutions Project to help Allamakee County manage impacts related to Alliant Energy’s decision to close the Lansing Generating Station by the end of 2022.  WED’s goal is to help the citizens of Allamakee County transition away from a fossil fuel past to a locally-owned, clean energy future. WED has worked with members of

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Energy Bills Rising: Black Hills

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner We’ve been asked recently why Black Hills natural gas bills are rising and continue to rise when the rate increase was a one-time deal, and was reported to be a relatively small one. The answer is complicated, but we’ll try to explain. Here are three take-aways: Yes, Black Hills recently raised their rates However, the larger impact on your home or business’s bills is due

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Energy Bills Rising: Alliant

by Andy Johnson, Executive Director We’ve been asked recently why Alliant electric bills seem to keep rising, despite the fact that the last rate case was in 2019 (with the final order approving the rate hike in early 2020). The answer is complicated, but we’ll try to explain. Here are five key take-aways: Yes, Alliant rates are near the top in the state The rate increase approved in 2020 was

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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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