- Iowa regulators on Tuesday approved energy efficiency plans for three utilities, including Alliant Energy's five year, $237.6 million strategy that includes more than a dozen efficiency and demand response offerings.
- The Iowa Utilities Board also approved natural gas efficiency plans for the three utilities, including Black Hills Energy, which serves more than 150,000 customers, and Liberty Utilities, which serves about 4,000 customers.
- According to Alliant, its plan will help save customers $180 million over 5 years. The new programs will be available April 1, the utility said, and will be followed by a reduction in energy efficiency charges starting with June bills.
Last month, the IUB approved MidAmerican Energy's five-year efficiency plan, which included significant cuts. Alliant's plan approved this week will target 25% less electric savings and 75% less gas savings in 2019 compared to 2017, according to the Iowa Environment Council.
In a statement about the IUB approval, Alliant specifically pointed to the legislature's work.
"I would like to thank lawmakers for supporting Iowa's new energy law, which directly helps our customers keep more of their money," Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy company, said in a statement.
Alliant's total efficiency budget under the plan is approximately $126.6 million for electric energy efficiency programs and $16.2 million for natural gas efficiency. Demand response programs add another $94.8 million.
In its proposal, Alliant sought changes to a program that provides incentives to large commercial and industrial customers for reducing their usage during peak demand times. The IUB allowed Alliant to alter the incentives it provides for large commercial and industrial peak reduction, including reducing a monthly credit. However, regulators balked at a proposal to increase penalties for program participants who do not reduce demand.
Iowa regulators also directed Alliant to clarify language in some documents, specifying conditions that could lead to a call for curtailment by program participants. The IUB said Alliant's efficiency plan is expected to save customers 611 million kWh of electricity and 2.5 million therms of natural gas.
For comparison, Liberty's 2019-2023 plan includes four programs expected to collectively save 74,178 therms. Black Hills programs are expected to produce natural gas savings of 99,264 dekatherms and peak savings of 1,042 dekatherms.
The Black Hills plan projects energy efficiency spending of $8.79 million, with about $468,000 allocated as "flexible funds" aimed at programs that may have greater-than-anticipated participation. Liberty's efficiency plan is projected to cost $376,000.