The Energy Chronicles

DMPS to Charge Teachers for Personal Appliances in the Classroom

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Today it was reported by KCCI that the school district plans to implement a new policy to charge teachers annual fees to keep personal appliances in their classrooms.  The ultimate goal is for teachers to get rid of personal appliances to reduce energy usage throughout the district.  For example, based on the national average 11.8 cents a kWH, one mini fridge can cost anywhere from $27 to $80 a year to operate depending on the model.  DMPS is among many school districts and employers throughout the country attempting to make similar behavioral modifications.  For example,  in 2011 Limestone County Schools [...]

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City of Ames Smart 150 Challenge

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

The City of Ames is using their city’s sesquicentennial to reiterate their commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability through a new program. The City of Ames is calling for 150 businesses to participate in “Smart Business” or to take the “Smart 150 Challenge” to make Ames a more sustainable city.  The Smart 150 Challenge takes aim at improving the following sustainable measures: Energy and Water Conservation Transportation Waste Reduction Indoor & Outdoor Environmental Quality Carbon Footprint Community Engagement By participating, businesses can take advantage of rebate programs and implement a business energy plan that not only saves money, but helps [...]

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Iowa State Park Embraces Renewable Energy

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Honey Creek Resort State Park in Rathbun, IA has made a committment to sustainability. As stewards of the environment they have made the golf course eco-friendly with native prairie grass, electric golf carts, and conscious chemicals. Furthermore they have installed solar panels and wind energy to offset usage in the cabins and clubhouse while solar water heating is used at the main hotel. They claim to be “Iowa’s greenest resort” and it would seem they are deserving of such a title.   Kelly and his family visited Honey Creek over the weekend and had a great time. There’s even a [...]

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Citi and Green Campus Partners Give Energy Efficiency a Boost with Revolving Credit Line

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Citi for Cities has partnered with Green Campus Partners to dedicate $50 million dollars to a revolving line of credit for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the Citi For Cities initiative. Access to funding is a significant barrier for many entities to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and reduce operating costs. The Citi For Cities initiative aims to overcome this challenge by providing a financing mechanism that will enable communities to install cost saving measures, stimulating economic growth and enhancing prosperity. For more information visit www.citiforcities.com.

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Alliant Energy Hosted Annual Energy Summit

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Alliant Energy hosted their annual Energy Summit in Cedar Rapids, IA this week to celebrate their customer’s achievements in energy efficiency. Where were able to exhibit alongside contractors, engineering firms, and other energy services professionals. We will provide a breakdown of the event from our perspective shortly, but for now you can check out presentations from the event here.

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James Brown Discusses Blower Door Test

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Yes, James Brown. You read that right. The King of Funk talks about the importance of a blower door test for residential buildings in this video: James Brown Blower Door Test Video. You too can be super fly; learn about blower door tests (BDT) while we perform a residential energy audit for your home. Not only will we perform a BDT, but we will assess your lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water heating, controls, and insulation levels. This process may uncover significant energy saving opportunities to lower your gas and/or electric bill, which we will discuss with you thoroughly. City of [...]

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The Energy Groups Attends City of Ames Eco Fair

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

The Energy Group exhibited at the City of Ames’ Annual Eco Fair. Each year the City of Ames hosts this fair for all City of Ames residents to educate and raise awareness of sustainable practices, and to connect residents with business who can help them lower their impacts through a variety of methods, from rain capture to goat grazing, energy efficiency and more. We were able to connect with dozens of homeowners interested in signing up for the City of Ames Residential Energy Audit, a service provided to all City of Ames customers at no cost. All attendees who signed [...]

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Iowa Bills Bolster Renewable Energy Industry

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

The bipartisan bill SF 2340, which passed “without any opposition”, increases the annual limit for the existing Solar Energy System Tax Credit from $1.5 million to $4.5 million, retroactive to January 1, 2014. In addition, the bill provides that if the annual credit cap is not fully utilized in one year, the unused credits remain available in a future year, state fiscal analysts said. This bill allows a taxpayer to claim an Iowa credit equal to 60 percent of the federal solar energy tax credit instead of the 50 percent currently allowed. It also increases the credit cap available for individual [...]

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The Energy Group Attends 25th Annual Economic Development Conference

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Peoria, IL: The 25th Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference, “Revitalization and Development Opportunities,” offered community leaders a multitude of strategies geared toward addressing the economic challenges confronting the nation. The Energy Group was among nearly 250 participants from throughout the Midwest who embraced the opportunity to learn from the successes of other community development professionals working to improve the economic environment. The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) hosts the conference each year in affiliation with the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, chaired by Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, and Rural Partners. Jim Crandall of the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center began [...]

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TEG to Assist Dubuque’s GHG Reduction Plan

By Jesse on 27th August 2014

Have you heard of Green Dubuque? It is a volunteer-led, 501(c)3 non-profit formed in 2007 to serve the Dubuque region. These cats are focused on clean air and water, social equity, climate action, and energy efficiency (among other relevant issues). They’ve set an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their community 50% by 2030! They aim to achieve this goal, not through regulation, but through “no regret solutions” which, regardless of the severity of climate change or who’s to blame, will positively impact the community and environment. TEG will be working with Green Dubuque as they expand their solutions [...]

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