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Energy Efficiency Charge On January Bills In Iowa

January 11, 2019
Emmetsburg News

DES MOINES - A change in state law means MidAmerican Energy Company's Iowa customers will soon see a monthly "energy efficiency charge" on their utility bills - though customers are not actually paying a new fee.

Beginning in January, Iowa's regulated utilities will show energy efficiency fees on a separate line on monthly customer bills. Utilities are required to use the fees to fund energy efficiency programs. The legislation, signed into law in May, requires utilities to itemize the energy efficiency charge beginning January 1.

"Most of our Iowa customers, along with other regulated utility customers in the state, probably don't know they are paying the monthly energy efficiency fee, which funds energy efficiency programs," Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican Energy's vice president of economic connections and integration, said. "That changes in January, when the law will require utilities to list the fee. We welcome that transparency, and we think our customers will, too."

The law will also reduce MidAmerican Energy customer utility bills by capping energy efficiency program spending. In 2017,MidAmerican Energy's Iowa customers paid, on average, more than 7 percent of their bills toward energy efficiency programs, the highest in the nation. During that 12-month period, an average single family home paid $145.16, including $67.50 on electric and $77.66 on natural gas bills for energy efficiency programs.

The legislation will limit energy efficiency program spending at 2 percent for electric and 1.5 percent for natural gas. The spending caps will save MidAmerican Energy customers an estimated $80 - $90 million annually. On average, it will save about $81 per year for MidAmerican Energy's residential gas and electric customers, $172 for commercial and more than $12,000 for industrial energy users.



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