The Energy Efficiency study committee wrapped up work on yesterday and made 18 recommendations, which includes a energy efficiency goal of $9 billion in savings over the next ten years. State Representative Nathan Reichert of Muscatine co-chairs the committee and the recommendations were approved on a 7-2 vote.
PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS OF INTERIM COMMITTEE ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Improving energy efficiency – getting more energy services for less energy – is essential for Iowa’s efforts for energy independence, for jobs and economic growth, and for the environment and future generations. As Whirlpool Corporation told our committee, energy efficiency is “cheaper,” “quicker,” “cleaner,” and “enhances security.” The interim committee on energy efficiency makes the following recommendations:
1. Set energy efficiency goal of 1.5% per capita per year.
Our current energy efficiency efforts are focused on providing particular cost-effective programs. We need to add a focus on the overall results to improve performance and accountability. We recommend setting a statewide energy efficiency goal of 1.5% per capita per year which, if achieved, would save Iowans $9 billion over the next ten years. In the utility sector, the energy efficiency goal should apply to all utilities. We should give utilities flexibility in meeting the goal, provide incentives for achieving the goal, and create remedies if the goal is not met such as proportional financing of a third party administrator to achieve the goal. Impose a three-year phase in period.
2. Provide tax incentives for the construction and rehabilitation of green buildings.
3. Provide basic energy efficiency services statewide so they are available for all Iowa families and businesses.
4. Improve compliance with state building energy code.
Buildings are a major consumer of energy. The most cost-effective time to improve building energy efficiency is at construction. We should establish the state building energy code as the minimum standard statewide, and support education, compliance, and enforcement of the state building energy code.
5. Encourage green building construction and renovation.
We should require and help finance green building construction for public buildings, and provide incentives for green building construction in the private sector.
6. Low-income energy efficiency efforts.
Energy efficiency is an essential part of meeting low-income energy needs. We should fully fund the assessment and resolution program for the community action agencies to promote energy efficiency.
7. Transportation efficiency improvements.
Our committee did not have time to address transportation efficiency. We should ask the Office of Energy Independence to work with the Department of Transportation, other state agencies, and the transportation industry to make recommendations for improving transportation efficiency including raising the fuel economy of Iowa’s vehicle fleet.
8. Promote cogeneration of electricity to improve energy efficiency in electrical production.
Our committee did not have time to address production efficiency. We should ask the Office of Energy Independence to work with the Iowa Utilities Board, other state agencies, and the energy industry to make recommendations for improving production efficiency such as cogeneration of electricity.
9. Promote better workforce training to improve energy efficiency.
Don Otto and other witnesses explained the importance of quality workmanship in improving energy efficiency, but our committee did not have time to address these workforce issues. We should ask our universities, our private colleges, our community colleges, the building trades, and the building industry for recommendations to improve our growing energy efficiency workforce.
10. Encourage Iowa Power Fund to invest in energy efficiency.
11. Integrated planning and programming with energy efficiency (Minnesota model) – including RECs and MUNIs.
12. Third party administration pilot project
13. Energy efficiency summit – promote statewide sharing of programs and cooperation
14. Advisory council on energy efficiency for Office of Energy Independence
15. Require economic impact assessment of energy efficiency programs
16. Better consumer education
17. Continue to study load management
18. Easier implementation of energy efficiency programs for customers, including list of available contractors