MidAmerican Energy customers in Iowa will have new options to save on their monthly energy bills, if a new energy efficiency and demand response plan is approved by the state utilities board.

The proposed 2024-2028 plan was filed with the Iowa Utilities Board on Wednesday and gives residential and nonresidential customers cost-effective energy efficiency program options to help them lower their gas and electric usage. The plan also provides a demand response program that gives customers incentives to shift their electricity usage during peak periods. It will help MidAmerican reach its goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The proposal includes input from various stakeholder groups, including environmental and energy efficiency organizations, and home and commercial comfort system contractors.

“MidAmerican is excited about this plan because it’s something we developed with lots of input from multiple stakeholders and energy efficiency experts,” said Erin Rasmussen, MidAmerican director of energy efficiency. “Today we offer a robust energy efficiency portfolio of programs. If this five-year plan is approved, these cost-effective programs will be improved and enhanced with our customers in mind, making it easier to participate and providing more opportunities to save. And we’ve added innovative programs for income-qualified customers to make it easier for them to take advantage of our energy efficiency programs that will help lower energy usage and future monthly bills. When our customers save energy, they also save money.”

Residential programs

New features for residential programs include:

  • The instant discount enhancement would enable residential customers to save money up-front when they buy energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, instead of submitting rebate forms after their purchase.
  • An online marketplace will offer instant discounts on smart thermostats and easy-to-install energy-saving products including advanced power strips, low-flow faucet aerators and water-saving showerheads. It will offer other energy-saving products, including weatherstripping and LED lights.
  • New energy efficiency and weatherization offerings for income-qualified customers, such as free weatherization kits, increased community action agency, local partnership efforts and programs targeted to small businesses in lower income and underserved neighborhoods.
  • Increased participation incentives for SummerSaver smart thermostat participants.

Nonresidential programs

Nonresidential programs, available to commercial and industrial customers, will include:

  • The instant discount enhancement would allow nonresidential customers to save money up-front when they buy energy-efficient equipment, instead of submitting rebate forms.
  • Comprehensive facility assessments.
  • Increased incentives for annual load reduction participation.
  • LED lighting and commercial kitchen equipment incentives.
  • Enhanced new construction incentives to encourage affordable, energy efficient multifamily housing projects.

By the end of 2028, MidAmerican will have invested over $355 million in energy efficiency programs through the proposed plan, with a projected net economic benefit of $1.4 billion to MidAmerican and its customers in Iowa. The plan currently would provide annual energy savings of more than 207 gigawatt-hours and 1.7 million therms.

The Iowa Utilities Board will review the proposed plan and consider public comments before deciding on whether to approve it by January 1, 2024.