Even though Iowa is a national leader, Republican lawmakers passed utility legislation that allows utility companies to roll back Iowa’s renewable energy efforts and slash energy efficiency rebates for Iowa consumers. Senate File 2311 deregulates numerous energy efficiency statutes and elevates utility companies’ demands over the needs and affordability of Iowa consumers.
Given the dramatic changes in the bill, thousands of Iowans working in the energy efficiency industry will likely lose their jobs and utility consumer rates will drastically increase. Last year, Governor Reynolds established the Iowa Energy Plan, which developed a comprehensive energy plan that outlined goals and strategies to drive down energy consumption and costs, spur economic development, and promote infrastructure. Despite contradicting her own Iowa Energy plan, Governor Reynolds signed the utility bill just before session adjournment.
This bill guts Iowa’s energy efficiency efforts by mandating new, more restrictive requirements and significantly decreasing funds available for homeowners to make improvements that save energy. Additionally, municipalities, corporations, and cooperatives are allowed to consider consumers’ use of renewable energy as basis for establishing discriminatory special rates or charges. As a result, Iowa utilities have the ability to shift all risk to Iowa customers without providing Iowans any recourse.