Iowa Utility Association

  • Phone: 515.282.2115
  • Fax: 515.282.7709
  • Mail: iuastaff@iowautility.org
  • Website: www.iowautility.org
  • Address: 500 East Court Avenue, Suite 312, Des Moines, IA 50309

10 Things To Know About Iowa Energy

For further information on these facts and issues, the IUA encourages you to contact our member companies.

1  Iowa’s six investor-owned energy utilities are Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, MidAmerican Energy Company, ITC Midwest, Liberty Utilities and NextEra Energy Duane Arnold. Together, IUA members deliver approximately 72 percent of electricity in Iowa and 85 to 90 percent of Iowa’s natural gas. Of these six members, the two investor-owned utilities in Iowa that provide retail electricity delivery (Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy) together serve approximately 1,129,069 electricity customers in Iowa. The four investor-owned utilities in Iowa that provide retail natural gas delivery (Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, MidAmerican Energy, Liberty Utilities) together serve approximately 935,129 natural gas customers in Iowa. (Source: IUB, based on complete 2012 data)

2  Based on year 2011 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Iowa currently is ranked fifth in total energy consumption per capita at 494 Btu and ranked 24th in total energy production (26th in electricity production). Based on April 2013 data from EIA, coal-fired plants produce about 53.2 percent of the electricity generated in the State. Due largely to air-quality concerns, approximately nine-tenths of the coal used in Iowa is low-sulfur coal brought in by rail from Wyoming. Wind energy consists of the bulk of renewable energy sources, with almost 25 percent of Iowa’s energy now coming from wind. (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Iowa Net Electricity Generation by Source - Apr 2013

3  Iowa is home to the # 1 regulated utility in the U.S. with the most installed wind power – MidAmerican Energy. To date, MidAmerican Energy has installed 1,267 wind turbines in Iowa. The State of Iowa currently is ranked #3 of all states in the U.S. in installed wind energy even though our wind energy resources are only seventh among all states. To date, 3,198 wind turbines have been installed throughout Iowa, with many more to come, in large part due to MidAmerican Energy’s recent $1.9 billion investment to expand its wind generation fleet in Iowa (see Iowa’s Wind Boom). Alliant Energy and NextEra Energy also own, operate and deliver a significant amount of wind energy.) Wind is second only to coal as an energy source for electricity generation in Iowa.

4  Iowa is also a nationally-recognized leader in energy savings programs for all classes of customers and has heavily promoted energy efficiency programs since 1992, well before many other states in the U.S.

From 2004-2008 Iowa’s investor-owned utilities invested some $450 million dollars in energy efficiency programs for customers.
The five-year plans for 2009-2013 currently in effect will spend about $800 million in energy conservation, energy efficiency programs and training.
The five-year plans for 2014-2018 now being filed will invest over $800 million in those energy efficiency programs.

Iowa utilities are actively participating in an ongoing formal collaborative process with stakeholders interested in expanding energy savings achieved through utility energy efficiency programs. Iowa utilities have long worked with state agencies to expand energy efficiency and home weatherization programs for low-income housing.

5 The Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) in Palo, Iowa (approximately nine miles northwest of Cedar Rapids) currently is Iowa’s only nuclear power plant. It generates about 615 million watts of electricity – enough power to supply the annual needs of more than 600,000 homes, or put another way, it generates roughly one-tenth of Iowa’s electricity. The Duane Arnold Energy Center began commercial operations in February 1975. For more information on the plant, download the DEAC fact sheet (PDF) and visit NextEra Energy’s Duane Arnold Energy Center webpage.

6 The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), as stated in Iowa Code §§ 476 through 479B, regulates the rates and services of electric, natural gas, and water utilities, the services of communications utilities, and generally supervises all pipelines and the transmission, sale, and distribution of electrical current. Learn more about the IUB’s jurisdiction and regulatory authority in Iowa.

7  The electric rates of Iowa investor-owned utilities are below the national average and are extremely competitive in the Midwest region.

Annual Average Electricity Price Comparison by State
Source: Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Annual (2011), Table 2.10

Forbes on Thursday, August 8, 2013 introduced its 15th annual list of “Best Places for Business and Careers,” and Des Moines, Iowa sits at the head of the class. The publication cites a variety of factors that make Des Moines so attractive to businesses and career people, and it makes a specific point to highlight Iowa’s favorable energy costs as one significant factor:

“A big carrot in Iowa for data centers and other businesses with heavy energy usage: Energy costs are 22% below the national average, according to Moody’s Analytics.”

8  The Iowa Office of Energy Independence was dissolved in 2011 and the core functions were transferred to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The IEDA currently serves as the official domicile of the Iowa State Energy Office and is the recipient of the State Energy Program (SEP) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Energy Division at IEDA is focused on creating long-term economic growth opportunities for Iowans through energy efficiency improvements, investment in clean energy and biofuels, and supporting sound energy policies. Working with business and industry, community leaders, government, and public agencies, the Energy Division sets the strategic direction for Iowa’s clean energy future. The following programs and functions are administered by IEDA:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
State Energy Program
Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant
Annual State Energy Program
Iowa Power Fund
Iowa Clean Cities Coalition
Energy Public Policy
Industrial Energy Efficiency
Renewable Energy Development

Visit www.energy.gov for more information.

9 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: For perspective purposes, the carbon emissions from electric generating plants in Iowa account for about one-half of one percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Or, put another way, more than 99 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from sources other than Iowa generating plants. It’s tough to even find that one-half of one percent when thrown into world emissions data. Even though Iowa’s carbon emissions are relatively small, Iowa and its utilities still have worked aggressively to deliver energy efficiency programs and renewable energy to customers.

10 Natural gas, which supplies nearly one-fifth of the State’s energy demand, reaches Iowa through pipelines from Canada via Minnesota and from the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle area that extend to other Midwestern U.S. consumption markets. Iowa ships over three-fourths of the natural gas it receives to Illinois. About two-thirds of Iowa’s households use natural gas as their primary home heating fuel. Natural gas is also used to generate a small amount of electricity and to make fertilizer products such as anhydrous ammonia. (source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)