The Energy Chronicles

Author Archives: Emily

City of Des Moines Passess Benchmarking Ordinance

The City of Des Moines just passed an ordinance requiring benchmarking for the largest commercial properties.

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Saving Money at Iowa’s Schools

TEG will be connecting with Iowa School Buildings and Grounds Association (ISBGA) members at the ISBGA Spring Conference this week. If you are attending, stop by and see us!

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Mayor, City of Ames, ISU Praise Local Businesses

Don Kom and Steve Wilson of City of Ames Electric, Merry Rankin of ISU, and Mayor Haila recognized six local businesses for their commitment and success in applying sustainable and energy efficient strategies during a ceremony at Reiman Gardens in late January. TEG wishes to congratulate The Loft, Duckworth Wearing, Fighting Burrito, Green Hills Retirement, McFarland Clinic, and Wheatsfield Cooperative for their efforts! 

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Iowa State Park Embraces Renewable Energy

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 kid-friendly […]

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

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

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Alliant Energy Hosted Annual Energy Summit

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

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

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

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

      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 […]

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TEG to Assist Dubuque’s GHG Reduction Plan

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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TEG Adds Alternative Energy Analysis to Portfolio

The Energy Group is pleased to announce the most recent addition to our suite of energy efficiency services: analysis and feasibility studies for alternative energy projects. Our team is using National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) methodology to assess a variety of alternative energy projects; solar photovoltaic, conventional thermal, wind energy, biomass, and biogas. We’ve received significant interest in assessing solar photovoltaic projects, ranging from individual solar panels for a home or business to community solar gardens. If you have a solar project in mind you can contact Jonathan Roberts and if you are thinking of applying for a REAP grant to fund your alternative […]

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Iowa Energy Center: Your Resource

The Iowa Energy Center was established by the Iowa General Assembly and enacted in to law in 1990. It serves as an objective resource for all energy consumers; homeowners, business owners, energy professionals, students, etc. They research and demonstrate energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at their two facilities, one at the DMACC-Ankeny campus and the other in Nevada, IA. They often provide training on renewable energy and energy efficiency. K-12 schools, businesses, and industry professionals can inquire about relevant workshops and training events. Additionally the IEC sponsors research and projects through three loan and grant programs: competitive grants, youth […]

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Birthday & Energy Efficiency at Botanical Center

Today we celebrate the birthdays of Emily Rice and Abraham Lincoln. In an attempt to bring summer to February, TEG staff grabbed their tropical shirts and headed down to the Botanical Center in Des Moines for lunch. If you haven’t been, you should go. And if you haven’t been recently, you should go back. They recently remodeled and have a wonderful plant-inspired menu, beautiful gardens, and 84 degree balmy weather! During the recent remodel Stefan Ganev, engineer and energy analyst at TEG, performed the energy analysis to assist the Botanical Center with their rebates from MidAmerican Energy’s custom energy efficiency program. While we waited for […]

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IAMU 2014 Leadership Conference

TEG attended the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) Leadership Conference in Des Moines, IA last week. IAMU is a member-driven organization that serves Iowa’s municipal utilities and their interests. Each year they invite their members, vendors, and industry leaders to this event for state regulatory, legislative and policy updates. They recognize leaders with the Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards as well as conduct committee and business meetings. Debbie Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority stopped by to share how “Iowa is Working”. Attendees got to hear about the innovative ways IEDA is attracting businesses to Iowa, creating job opportunities and generating […]

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New Addition to TEG

The Energy Group has added a new member to our staff!  Kate Kennedy started this month as our Energy Analyst Intern.  She will primarily be helping us run the City of Ames Residential Energy Audit program.  Kate will be assisting with residential energy audits and blower door tests.  She is currently a senior at Iowa State University studying Mechanical Engineering and spent the previous year with the Industrial Assessment Center Program (IAC) at Iowa State University. The IAC program provides free energy use, productivity enhancement, and waste assessments to qualifying manufacturers.  It is one of 26 locations nationwide and is funded by […]

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Funding Available for Rural Programs & Projects

During FY 2014 91 million dollars will be available for loans and 10 million dollars available for grants through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. This program enables revolving loan funds, managed through local rural utilities, to fund and assist with projects that will stimulate the local economy. These dollars would be awarded to entities that: Have borrowed and repaid or pre-paid an insured, direct, or guaranteed loan received under the Rural Electrification Act or, Be a not-for-profit utility that is eligible to receive assistance from the Rural Development Electric or Telecommunication Program Be a current Rural […]

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USGBC Hosts Legislative Preview

The 2014 Iowa legislative session is underway! Sunday we attended a legislative preview hosted by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Those in attendance were able to discuss environmental issues and concerns as well as hear about related legislative priorities for the 2014 session. In attendance were key democratic members of Iowa House Committees and 10-12 groups, representing environmental-and energy-focused groups and businesses. Marti Anderson, Chris Hall, Curtis Hanson, Dave Jacoby, and Jo Oldson were in attendance, among other representatives. Representative Chuck Isenhart, a ranking member on the House Environmental Protection Committee, kicked off the event and many topics were discussed. One hot […]

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