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Energy Incentive Programs, Iowa

Updated June 2015

In 2014 Iowa utilities budgeted over $190 million for energy efficiency programs in the state.

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

Iowa has no public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs. However, state law requires regulated utilities to offer energy efficiency programs.  

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

MidAmerican Energy Company offers programs through the EnergyAdvantage initiative. A multitude of prescriptive rebates are available for energy-efficient equipment including lighting, various heating and cooling equipment, motors, variable speed drives, commercial kitchen equipment, building insulation, and windows. In addition to the standard rebates, Mid-American offers custom incentives for 25% of the incremental cost of the equipment or a post-incentive simple payback period equal to 25% of the installed equipment’s estimated useful life (EUL). There are many other energy efficiency incentive programs that may interest federal customers including:

  • The Commercial New Construction program offers incentives to help offset the initial cost of design and installation of energy-efficient options. Different services and incentives are available depending on the percentage savings above the state energy code baseline. Incentives range from $0.06 to $0.19/kWh and $0.60 to $1.90/therm of first-year savings. The customer or building developer must first submit a program application form in order to be considered for these incentives (optimal enrollment during space-type programming or just after architect selection).

  • The Commercial Energy Solutions offers a comprehensive energy assessment with recommended projects for energy savings. Bonus incentives are available when multiple projects are completed and direct-install measures are also available for small businesses. 50% of the cost of a building tune-up survey for small buildings or a retro-commissioning study for large buildings is covered through the program. Additional incentives are available based on savings from implemented projects and pay $0.05/kWh or $0.40/therm of first-year savings. 

  • The Industrial Partners program offers technical assistance including a no-cost facility energy assessment, implementation support, and no-cost system optimization studies in certain cases.  Bonus incentives are available when multiple projects are completed.

Alliant Energy offers a set of energy efficiency programs including the following:

  • Rebates are available for a variety of efficient equipment including appliances (washers, freezers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and room air conditioners), doors and windows, food service equipment, HVAC, water heating, lighting, variable frequency drives, and data center equipment.  

  • The Custom Rebates program offers technical support and financial incentives for energy-efficient equipment for process improvement projects, installing more than one type of energy efficient equipment, or measures not covered by prescriptive rebates. Pre-approval is required; contact Alliant before beginning a custom project.

  • Design and construction incentives are available through Alliant’s Commercial New Construction Program. Different services and incentives are available depending on the percentage savings above the state energy code baseline. Incentives range from $0.06 to $0.19/kWh and $0.60 to $1.90/therm of first-year savings. The customer or building developer must first submit a program application form in order to be considered for these incentives (optimal enrollment during space-type programming or just after architect selection).

Iowan municipal utilities that are part of the Missouri River Energy Services consortium participate in the Bright Energy Solutions initiative, which offers incentives on equipment ranging from CFLs to compressed air systems. Check the rebates provided by your particular utility, as offerings vary across the different municipalities.

Black Hills Energy  offers the following programs:

  • The Small Business Energy Evaluation program offers a comprehensive energy evaluation for commercial facilities smaller than 25,000 square feet. HVAC systems, domestic hot water, building envelope, and food service equipment are evaluated as part of this service. 

  • The Gas Water Heater Rebate program provides rebates ranging from $150-$300 for upgrading to energy-efficient water heaters.

  • The Gas High-Efficiency Furnaces & Boilers Rebate program offers between $400-$1,200 for upgrading to high-efficiency furnaces and boilers.

  • The Gas Setback Thermostat & Space Heating Equipment Rebates program includes incentives of up to $50 for self-installed programmable thermostats (up to $70 if professionally installed). Rebates up to $160 are available for the installation of vent dampers for natural gas boilers, and $100 for furnance or boiler maintenance.

  • Gas High-Efficiency Cooking Equipment Rebates between $100- $500 are available for high-efficiency commercial cooking equipment such as broilers, ovens, and fryers.

  • The Gas Envelope Measures program covers building envelope upgrades such as doors, weather stripping, and insulation.  

  • The Custom Rebate program offers financial incentives to commercial customers for projects that reduce natural gas usage. Rebates apply to new high-efficiency heating systems not covered by prescriptive rebates.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

Alliant Energy’s Interruptible Programs offer customers year-round reduced rates on electricity in exchange for reducing consumption during peak periods at least once per year. Customers are typically given two-hour notice to reduce usage to a pre-determined level.  

Alliant also offers Time of Day Pricing for Iowa business customers to advantage of significantly lower electricity prices during off-peak hours. The program requires the installation of a smart meter that the customer pays for through a monthly charge. In the case that the business does not realize a reduction in electricity costs, Alliant will remove the smart meter and reinstall a standard meter free of charge.

MidAmerican energy offers its EnergyAdvantage Curtailment program to commercial and industrial customers who are able to reduce load by a minimum of 250 kW during peak demand periods. Curtailments take place between June and September and typically start at 1 PM, lasting approximately six hours. Curtailment calls are generally twelve (but as little as two) hours in advance of required reductions. Curtailment incentives are based on the contracted kW reduced during peak periods and are payable as rebates at the end of the peak energy season.  

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. Currently there are no renewable energy programs available to federal customers in Iowa.

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by the state government?

The Iowa Office of Energy Independence administers the Iowa Power Fund, which supports projects that promote technological innovation, education and demand for innovative energy projects. 

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide supply contracts through GSA (e.g., Atmos Energy Corporation, Black Hills (Aquila) and Mid American), may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA’s Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.