Taking Stock: Iowa Clean Energy Policy Mid-2023

On the Scandinavian judgement scale that runs from “could be better” to “not so bad” to “pretty good”, the status of clean energy policy in Iowa could be categorized as somewhere in the “not so bad” range, though with risks to the downside. Given the headwinds that have been building against clean energy across the Heartland, we are fortunate to have not yet slipped into “could be better” territory. Clean energy is holding ground in Iowa thanks to dedicated advocates and organizations from across the spectrum, and Iowa’s 12 clean energy districts have played no small role in this accomplishment. Thank you … and keep those sleeves rolled up!

Briefly, we’ll summarize the 2023 legislative session, then discuss key Iowa Utilities Board issues, and finally a forward-looking combination of the two. The Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI) actively advocates for a just clean energy future, with prosperity and a liveable climate for all.

Iowa’s 2023 Legislative Session

Coming into 2023, there was a great deal of worry around bills that could significantly restrict the siting of utility-scale solar and wind projects. This has been a trend at the county level around Iowa and the Midwest (as we discussed in February), and the level of statewide siting restrictions proposed in SSB1077 and SF2 would have effectively killed most new large-scale renewable energy development. These bills did not advance, thanks to opposition from utilities, the solar industry, and clean energy advocates such as many of you. Thank you, and thanks to my colleague Brian Krambeer of MiEnergy for joining me in this guest column in the Register. These bills/efforts could return next session, so we’ll need to remain vigilant … and work for better solutions in the interim.

Additional bills with significant potential downsides that did not pass include an effort to provide “innovative rates” to via community-solar-only-for-big-business but excluding all others (HF600/SSB1173), an effort to freeze Iowa’s building energy code at the 2012 standard (SF479), and an effort to change “advanced ratemaking” rules without requiring integrated resource planning (SSB1149). On the flip side, some legislation detrimental to clean energy did make it through. HF248 unfortunately guts much of the current regulatory authority of the Iowa Utilities Board over emissions from fossil fuel generation sources. SF514 – the government re-organization bill – exposes the Office of the Consumer Advocate to political interference through removing merit protection for employees, and other changes. Both of those bills represent harmful utility deregulation at the expense of Iowa ratepayers and communities, as we wrote about recently in The Electric Monopoly’s Company Store.
Good bills that didn’t make it through are worth noting too, in part because they’re worth continued
advocacy for next year. SF332 would establish a limited community solar program, allowing virtual net metering and meter aggregation. And SSB1059 would establish an integrated resource planning process for Iowa’s investor-owned electric utilities.

Iowa Utilities Board and Iowa Supreme Court

These are interesting times at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), in part because this spring brought about a significant change in composition. Board Chair Geri Huser resigned, and Sarah Martz was appointed to serve out her term until April, 2027. Board member Dick Lozier’s term ended, and Erik Helland was appointed to the seat, and named Chair. Josh Byrnes was appointed in 2020, and remains serving. There is always much happening at the IUB, and three major topics deserve special mention right now.

The five-year energy efficiency plan dockets are in full swing for each of Iowa’s investor-owned energy utilities – Alliant, MidAmerican, and Black Hills. CEDI is intervening and submitting extensive comments and testimony in all three dockets, which is a very significant undertaking.
CEDI priorities in the efficiency plans include 1) complementarity with the efficiency and electrification incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (especially heat pumps for heating/cooling), 2) the funding of high quality, in-person technical assistance to all ratepayers through qualified local providers such as energy districts, and 3) increased funding and more effective assistance for lower-income households, that face energy burdens often 3-4 times those of moderate and upper income households.

In early 2022, MidAmerican Energy filed its “Wind Prime” application for advanced ratemaking
principles (or ARP docket) on roughly 2 gigawatts of new wind and 50 megawatts of solar.
Environmental groups intervened, filing extensive testimony demonstrating that investments in much
larger quantities of solar with storage, combined with the retirement of the company’s aging coal plants, would be better for ratepayers.

The Board’s final order approved Wind Prime ratemaking principles but with severe limitations,
consumer protections, and significant requirements for resource planning, that together bode well for
future cases. CEDI applauds the work of intervenors, and the courage of the Board in the face of
extreme levels of corporate and political pressure.

Another docket related to MidAmerican’s failure to consider coal plant retirements reached the Iowa
Supreme Court recently. When company filed their required emission plan and budget in 2020, both the Office of Consumer Advocate and environmental groups criticized the company’s plan for failing to consider the coal plant retirement, and presented evidence demonstrating at least two plants were
uneconomical for ratepayers, and should be retired.

The Utilities Board rejected the intervenor’s evidence and approved the company’s plan, the
environmental groups appealed, and the Iowa Supreme Court recently ruled that the Board must
consider the evidence on coal plant economics provided by intervenors. This is a landmark ruling that could support the relevance of poor coal plant economics (relative to renewable energy and storage) in multiple future Board dockets.

The Study Docket … and Looking Ahead

A study docket, sounds pretty dry doesn’t it? Maybe only clean energy nerds get excited over a study, but thankfully, there are a great many such folks in the energy districts and our clean energy colleagues across the state.

Faced with a flurry of energy related bills, the Legislature wisely punted on some, in favor of a common tactic – directing the relevant regulatory agency to study the issues and report back. HF617 states

The utilities board shall initiate and coordinate an independent review of current Iowa Code
provisions and ratemaking procedures. The review shall take into account the policy objectives of
ensuring safe, adequate, reliable, and affordable utility services provided at rates that are
nondiscriminatory, just, reasonable, and based on the utility’s cost of providing service to
customers within the state.

We anticipate that the Board will soon open a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) docket, and likely issue an RFP for a consulting firm to coordinate the study. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to submit
comments and testimony on a broad range of topics related to energy rates in the state.
We anticipate the investor-owned utilities will vigorously promote policy changes that further the
interests of their investors, and their largest customers. Conversely, clean energy and localism advocates have an opportunity to build the case for a broad set of policies that would achieve a just, affordable, reliable, and resilient clean energy future that generates local prosperity and climate stewardship for generations.

CEDI (and we expect numerous member districts) will be fully engaged in this process, always working hard to move from “not so bad” to “pretty good” Iowa energy policy and reality.

Building Electrification: The Devil’s in the Details

Browsing Rewiring America’s website, it’s easy to get excited about the potential benefits of home electrification. Heat pumps, induction stoves, ventless heat pump clothes dryers, breaker boxes, rooftop solar, EVs, etc. All relatively straightforward, and most–with Inflation Reduction Act incentives–cheap and easy. Right? In reality, not so fast.  I was recently contacted by a Decorah couple to provide some recommendations for home electrification. The couple had the money and were

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2023 Winneshiek Energy District Home Tour, June 10th

Tour area homes and learn about solar installations, heat pumps, energy efficiency, and sustainable building practices! Winneshiek Energy District is excited to partner with six Decorah area homeowners for self-guided tours, Saturday, June 10th from 1-4pm. Visit as many as you can in an afternoon (or perhaps all!) and come away inspired to implement these practices at your own home. Participants are free to come and go as they please, and homeowners will be on-site to share their experiences.


Dan and Linda Canton, 2746 West Ridge Rd, Waukon (roughly 13 miles east of Decorah)

Off-grid, 6.0kW solar, 5.0kW lithium iron-phosphate battery backup, backup LP generator, air source heat pump for AC and supplemental heating, in-floor heat, electric riding lawn mower, electric chainsaws, timber frame, energy efficiency, and much more!

Built with efficiency in mind, this timber frame, off-grid home features 6.0kW of solar connected to 5.0kW of lithium iron phosphate battery storage, a wood stove for heating and cooking, and mini split and in-floor radiant heat for backup. The Cantons have developed several creative solutions to combat the challenges of living off grid, like “banking” solar production through preheating and precooling, utilizing an electric riding lawn mower and electric chainsaws for harvesting wood.


Chris Frantsvog, 504 Jefferson Street, Decorah 

4.0kW solar, ductless cold climate air source heat pump, hybrid heat pump water heater, newly constructed energy efficient addition

This modest 19th century brick home coupled with a newly constructed SIP panel and brick veneered addition features rooftop solar on both the house and garage, a multi-zone Mitsubishi cold climate ductless heat pump, and a hybrid heat pump water heater. Old and new held in balance!

Rolf and Laura Peterson, 109 Crescent Ave, Decorah

Ducted cold climate heat pump, 6kW rooftop solar, wood stove, soon-to-be installed hybrid heat pump water heater

This home typifies what whole-home electrification might look like for those of us living in existing mid 20th century homes. The Petersons are in the final stages of converting all systems to electric and they plan to cap the gas line once the new heat pump water heater is installed. Two years ago the Petersons installed 6kW of rooftop solar and swapped their gas furnace with an LG ducted air source heat pump. Come learn from the Petersons and be inspired to do the same at your house!

Porter House Museum, 401 West Broadway St, Decorah

4.5kW rooftop solar, four ductless heat pumps for climate control

Lack of climate control is the death of any museum collection. Come see how the Porter House Museum solved this vexing problem without adding financial strain to the organization’s bottom line. 4.5kW of rooftop solar paired with ductless heat pumps for air conditioning and shoulder season heating were designed and installed to complement this 19th century Italianate home, all while reducing the museum’s electric use. 

Kevin and Leslie Sand, 2597 Quarry Hill Rd, Decorah

14kW pole-mounted solar, two ductless heat pumps

Concerned with the amount of propane required to heat their home (and to say nothing of its ever increasing cost!) the Sands installed 14kW of pole-mounted solar and coupled it with two ductless cold climate Mitsubishi heat pumps. The Sand’s home is a great model for those trying to implement electric heating without existing ductwork.

Perry-O and David Sliwa, 2918 Middle Sattre Rd, Decorah (roughly 5 miles north of Decorah)

4.5kW solar, 1.5kW wind generator, plug-in hybrid vehicle, double wall construction, triple pane windows, passive house principles, in-floor electric heat, ductless heat pump for supplemental heating and AC, and much more!

Incorporating the lessons from living off the grid for forty years, the Sliwas built their retirement home in 2016 with efficiency as the guiding principle. The thoughtfully designed home features numerous passive house concepts like superior levels of insulation, winter solar gain through plentiful south-facing windows and summer shading through extended roof overhangs, and optimal site orientation. Requiring minimal energy to heat and cool, all systems are electric and are offset through on-site solar and wind production.


Successful Electrify! Fair Answers Questions about Everything Electric

Heidi Eger, Communications

Last Saturday, we had a wonderful time hosting the Electrify! Fair in the big community building a the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.  We split the building with Winneshiek County Conservation who hosted a kid-focused Earth Day Festival.  Nearly 500 people attended the events.

On our side of the building, we hosted 8 contractors and 4 electric vehicles.   We had both solar and HVAC contractors in attendance to talk with folks about whole home electrification. Paul Cutting, WED’s Energy Planner, gave a 101 presentation for Solar and Heat Pumps every half  hour and 50 people listened and asked questions. While there were a few questions about solar, most attendees were excited to learn about heat pumps and whole home energy planning!

The exhibitors with the biggest crowds were definitely the EV drivers.  Every time I had a chance to look for them, they were surrounded by a small crew of interested people.  We had a Bolt, a Bolt EUV, a Tesla, and a Mustang Mach-e.

Huge thanks to all our exhibitors and attendees.  If you missed the event, click below to see Paul’s presentation or click to get contact info for our exhibitors.

Watch Paul’s Solar and Heat Pump 101 presentation
Contact our exhibitors
IRA Solar and Heat Pump Incentive Fact Sheets

WED Plants Shade Trees

Luke Frederick, GIA Audit Coordinator

On April 15, the Winneshiek Energy District was joined by a collection of eager volunteers to plant tree saplings. Every year, the Winneshiek Energy District, in collaboration with Kevin and Leslie Sand, hosts a tree planting event for residents in the Decorah area. By signing up, a resident can qualify for several species of free trees and the team will plant the trees for them. The tree species we offered this year were swamp white oak, hackberry, and kentucky coffee. So far, we’ve planted 19 trees and are waiting for approval to plant a few more. 

The Winneshiek Energy District first began discussing a tree planting event in late February. We drafted a press release, the sign up form, and flier and the GIA team was introduced to Kevin Sand who received saplings from the State Forestry Nursery. On the 20th, we were ready to start accepting clients. The press release was posted on Decorah Now. For a week, we watched the number of requests trickle in. Then, over the weekend, the requests were piling in fast. Too fast. We gathered so many requests that we feared we’d be overwhelmed. We closed the form on the 31st of March and ended up with 19 responses and over 30 trees to plant. 

The next day, we began to site the trees. Unfortunately, not everyone had an appropriate planting space, so our total number of trees dwindled until we reached 24. After siting, we arranged for the Iowa One Call to visit each property and check the gas, water, and electrical lines. We then got a hold of Sam Hogensen, the Decorah City Forester, and asked him about the rules for planting trees on the boulevard. He said we needed approval so we let the homeowners fill out the form.

We gathered at Kevin’s shop at 7:30 in the morning on the 15th of April. It was a cool, cloudy day with a high chance for rain. We took inventory, assigned teams, and planned routes. At 8:30, a loud crack of thunder resounded in the sky and the rain fell. The thunder was the starting pistol and the race to beat the rain was on. We gathered into our assigned trucks and headed in our separate ways. 

Without Kevin Sand, this event would not have been possible. Kevin is a tree planting enthusiast, who once more lent us his knowledge, time, and resources so that we could plant free trees for residents in the Decorah area. He taught the current GIA team and many volunteers how to site, dig, and plant a tree to maximize the numerous benefits it can provide and as well to care for it as it matures. His motto, “Plant until you’re planted” resonates deeply as the trees we all assisted in planting will be enjoyed by generations long after our time. 

We’d also like to thank the many volunteers who took part in the planting. Without them, the Winneshiek Energy District would not have been able to plant as many trees this year and as efficiently. 

Click here for 2023 Tree Planting Instructions

CEDI Intervenes in Energy Efficiency Plan Dockets

Jim Martin-Schramm, WED Board Member

Every five years the large rate-regulated utilities in Iowa have to propose energy efficiency plans for their customers that are reviewed by the Iowa Utilities Board in dockets that are open to the public.  The Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI) will be intervening in each of these dockets over the course of this year.

The least expensive energy is the energy we don’t need to produce, hence the Iowa Legislature’s decision many years ago to require that the largest utility companies in Iowa help their customers consume less energy.  Given the high cost of energy, energy efficiency also helps reduce the higher energy burdens faced by low-income households.

The five-year energy efficiency plans that are approved by the IUB are funded by the ratepayers, not by the utilities.  Each ratepayer pays a very small fee for each kilowatt hour or therm of energy they purchase each month.  The utility collects this money and then uses it to administer its energy efficiency programs and to provide customers with the incentives that are approved by the IUB.  

Since investments in energy efficiency result in fewer sales to their customers, utilities don’t have a great incentive to help their customers save too much energy.  Hence the need for others like CEDI to make sure these plans are as robust as possible and to ensure that they are being promoted well.

CEDI will focus on the following topics in each of these dockets:

  1. Complementarity with the Energy Efficiency Incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  CEDI has published fact sheets that highlight ways US taxpayers can take advantage of the various incentives in the IRA to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles. Ideally, the incentives offered by the utilities will complement these federal incentives and thus accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient technologies like heat pumps for space heating and cooling as well as hot-water heating.  CEDI will advocate especially for higher rebate incentives for cold-climate heat pumps.
  2. Provision of High-Quality Technical Assistance to All Ratepayers.  Energy systems are complicated, involve different kinds of technology, and often are quite expensive to change.  High-quality, in-person technical assistance can help homeowners, businesses, and farmers navigate this complexity so that they can make wise investment decisions that will save them money and reduce emissions over the long term.  Currently, such in-person and high-quality assistance is only being offered to the largest customers.  CEDI believes all customers have a right to such assistance.
  3. Increased Funding and More Effective Assistance for Low-Income Households.  A shocking percentage of Iowa households live at or near the federal poverty level.  For example, Alliant Energy reports that nearly 25% of the ~411,000 households they serve have household incomes that are 0-200% of the federal poverty level.  Another 18% of the households they serve have incomes that range from 200-300% of the federal poverty level.  Despite these facts, only 7% of the company’s proposed five-year energy efficiency plan is focused on the needs of these households with much higher energy burdens.  CEDI will argue that more funds be spent on low-income households and in more successful ways than they are spent currently.

IUB review of Alliant’s application for approval of their next five-year energy efficiency plan has already begun (EEP-2022-0150).  Here are links to CEDI’s Direct Testimony and related Exhibits as well as links to CEDI’s Rebuttal Testimony and Exhibits in this docket.

IUB review of Mid-American Energy Company’s proposed plan (EEP-2022-0156) will begin in June, and the review of Black Hills Energy’s proposed plan (EEP-2022-0225) will begin in the fall.  CEDI testimony in these dockets will be filed later this year.  Use the links above to locate CEDI’s filings in these dockets.

Energy efficiency is a great example of “green meeting green.”  Energy efficiency puts more money in our pockets and reduces our consumption of fossil fuels, which produce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.  

WED Wins Grant, Brings New EV Charging to County

by Paul Cutting, Energy Planner

Winneshiek Energy District is excited to partner with six Winneshiek County organizations and the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa to bring public-facing electric vehicle charging to downtown Calmar, Northeast Iowa Community College’s Calmar campus, Winneshiek Medical Center, the new Sunflower Child Development and Discovery Center, downtown Decorah at the Chamber of Commerce, and Seed Savers Exchange. 

The roughly $45,000 project is being funded, in part, through the support of the Winneshiek County Community Foundation and through financial commitments of all six partnering organizations. The level 2 chargers will be available for public, workplace and fleet charging. 

For the past two years, Winneshiek Energy District has worked with other regional organizations to help plan for an electrified transportation future. Last fall we co-hosted a Get Charged Up! EV Event with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission that brought together local business and government leaders. Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) led a study of the opportunities relating to electric vehicles and tourism. RC&D’s work identified dozens of best-suited locations for charging infrastructure throughout northeast Iowa. In addition, Luther College is finishing work on an economic analysis of the economic benefits of the EV transition as it relates to Northeast Iowa.

One aim of this project is to create opportunities for workplace-based EV charging. Being able to charge at work alleviates a few challenges of the EV transition. First, with ranges of EV’s somewhat less than their internal combustion engine equivalents, workplace charging lessens concerns of range anxiety, which is frequently cited as a key obstacle for consumer EV adoption. Workplace charging also provides options for renters and students who might not otherwise have charging options at home. Until fast charging becomes commercially available at gas stations and other public places throughout northeast Iowa, projects such as these will meet an important need.

This project also serves as an exciting opportunity for partnering organizations to explore how they might electrify their respective vehicle fleets in the future. Some categories of institutional fleet vehicles, like those used for deliveries, tend to be used in predictable ways and pair well with workplace-based charging where workers charge personal vehicles during the work day and fleet vehicles overnight.

The Electric Monopoly’s Company Store

by Andy Johnson, Executive Director

Editor’s note: since this article was written, the Iowa Legislature passed SF 198. The other bills, including the opportunity to study these issues and bring better legislation next session, remain alive.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and a deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call me ‘cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to the company store.

Tennessee Ernie Ford may have topped the charts in 1955 with Sixteen Tons, but Merle Travis wrote the song based on real life in the coal mines of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. 

According to Travis, the first two lines of the chorus came from his brother, and the last two from his father; both were miners. 

Just as Big Coal indebted Kentucky miners to the company store, so now MidAmerican Energy (and parent Berkshire Hathaway) is indebting Iowa’s hard-working ratepayers to the company store of investor profits.

There is great moral hazard in the state granting monopoly control of the power sector to a single company, with over 680,000 captive Iowa customers. There is even greater moral hazard in that company pressuring politicians into removing the last remaining pillars of public oversight, accountability, and transparency of that state granted monopoly behemoth.

Legislators: MidAmerican rate increases are coming one way or another. Do you really want to write a blank check of “deregulation” to a power monopoly with no competition and over 680,000 captive Iowa customers? Maybe it’s time to stop and think, to do the work first, and revisit these issues in the future.

The Illusion of a Squeaky Clean Utility

MidAmerican Energy has been very effective at promoting the illusion that it’s serving Iowa ratepayers by keeping rates down and advancing rapidly towards 100% renewables.

In reality, MidAmerican’s business decisions have been and continue to be designed to maximize benefits to out-of-state investors, while running up ratepayer debt at the company store for coming generations of hard-working Iowans. 

Yes, they’ve built a great deal of wind energy and that’s mostly good for Iowa. But they’ve also been rigging the system to maximize tax benefits and perpetually guaranteed profits to investors, even as built-in rate pressures mount and ratepayers may be in for sticker shock in coming years. 

MidAmerican also appears hell-bent on running a large fleet of uneconomical coal plants for decades into the future, at outrageously high cost and health/environmental impact to ratepayers but at quite a nice profit to Berkshire investors, who also own the coal trains. 

But MidAmerican’s chickens are coming home to roost, and the company is desperately seeking a bailout from legislators to protect their wealth extraction business model from public accountability. 

Dismantling Public Accountability

Two important pieces of regulatory oversight help keep behemoth monopolies like MidAmerican honest. The company is working hard to kill both, this session, at the People’s House.

SF 198 would take all teeth out of a mandatory bi-annual regulatory exercise called an emissions plan and budget (EPB) docket. These dockets look at emissions of fossil fuel plants, but also, importantly, at the economics of those plants and their benefits and costs to ratepayers. The bill has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

MidAmerican has been fighting tooth and nail in a current EPB docket to keep the true economics of their Iowa coal plants secret. They just lost in court, and the company’s own studies show those plants are an increasingly costly burden on Iowa ratepayers (though likely highly profitable to Berkshire investors).

SF 198 would effectively kill the ability of regulators to hold MidAmerican accountable, and indebt Iowa ratepayers to the uneconomical MidAmerican coal plants for at least another generation.

Rate dockets are another critical piece of regulatory oversight that keeps monopoly, investor-owned utilities at least partially accountable. 

When an investor-owned utility wants to raise rates on Iowans, they need to come before the Iowa Utilities Board, lift the hood on books and operations, and prove the case for both an overall revenue increase, and a fair distribution of that increase between classes of ratepayers.

MidAmerican hasn’t lifted that hood in a decade, and is due for a rate case in coming years. So the company is promoting SSB 1173 that would – under the guise of “flexible” or “innovative” rate-making – allow it to skirt the existing rate docket process and instead, offer preferential rates to favored customers on a case-by-case basis, with less transparency and oversight.

The Iowa Legislature should know the factual impact to ratepayers before allowing MidAmerican Energy to feed at the public trough of pro-monopoly deregulation. 

Or Better Yet, Dismantling the Company Store

Iowa’s regulation of investor-owned utilities isn’t perfect, but it sure as heck isn’t in need of MidAmerican’s proposed fixes.

It could be improved, though. HF 617 asks the Iowa Utilities Board to conduct a participatory study of “code provisions and ratemaking procedures” that best serve customers. Legislators should press pause on SF 198 and SSB 1173, do the work together with the IUB to truly understand the potential impact of the monopoly utility lobbying campaigns, and return to the issues in the future if necessary.

The study bill should be enlarged to include Integrated Resource Planning (IRP). Most states utilize common-sense IRP to ensure that monopoly utility investments are actually in the long-term best interests of ratepayers and the state’s grid, rather than simply maximizing profits to investors.

When combined with a requirement for all-source competitive sourcing and performance incentive mechanisms, a robust IRP process brings not only greater accountability, but also greater competitive pressure to monopoly utilities. It’s no wonder MidAmerican/Berkshire pulled out all stops to block an IRP bill this session (SSB 1059), and to promote their own bills to dismantle existing accountability mechanisms.

Iowa legislators have a clear choice this session. They can ignore moral hazard and allow MidAmerican and Alliant lobbyists and investors to short-circuit public accountability, or they can protect the rights and freedoms of Iowa ratepayers and communities from the growing power of the electric monopoly company store. 



IPCC Releases Major Climate Change Report

by Andy Johnson, Executive Director

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released its AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023. It is represents the best science in the world, and it is sobering. Good coverage including enlightening graphics can be found at The ConversationWorld Resources InstituteCNBC, and elsewhere. There’s no sugar-coating the conclusions:

“Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people. …Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”

Also, “Policies and laws addressing mitigation have consistently expanded since AR5. Global GHG emissions in 2030 implied by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) announced by October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.”

This is true, and yet major policies have been adopted even since 2021. The Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. is the most significant climate and clean energy legislation in our history, and is already accelerating change. Globally, renewable energy is being built faster than predicted, solar will produce more power than coal by 2027, and over half of electricity production will be carbon-free this decade.

Decades ago, Donella Meadows said “we have just enough time, starting now”. While we are losing the race against time, we are also rapidly gaining ground. Your Energy District is working hard to lead local implementation, and advocate for ever stronger policy. Join us, vote, share the IPCC report with policymakers and your networks, and THANK YOU to all those doing their part and leading the way.

Nonprofits and the IRA

by Paul Cutting, Energy Planner

On March 21st, WED hosted an Energy Lunch to discuss how the new direct pay option allows non taxable entities to take advantage of the 30% federal renewable energy refundable tax credit! Organizations like schools, nonprofits, churches and local governments are now able to capture the full value of the 30% federal tax credit, putting renewable energy projects like PV solar, geothermal, wind, EV vehicle purchases and battery storage within reach for your nonprofit!

We gathered on zoom and at the Lingonberry to discuss about all the ways the Inflation Reduction Act can benefit your nontaxable organization. We also discussed the option of using a Power Purchase agreement to allow non taxable entities to work with a taxable investor to capture the value of the tax credit.

Click below to view the recording or scroll down to get the slides.

Click here to see the slides from the presentation


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