Iowa’s largest utilities have dramatically scaled back efforts to help customers conserve energy since a 2018 law gutted the state’s efficiency requirements. MidAmerican Energy reported kilowatt-hour savings for 2020 that were 64% lower than what the utility achieved the year before the law took effect. Alliant Energy’s savings were down 40% during the same period. “That’s just staggering,” said state Sen. Rob Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat who voted against the legislation. “At the very moment when our country needs to be increasing energy efficiency quickly, this is terrible.”
Most states require utilities to make regular investments in energy efficiency programs such as lighting and appliance rebates, which can help keep costs down for all customers by delaying the need for more expensive infrastructure upgrades.