The NIPCO Board of Directors approved proposed rebates and incentives brought forward at the December 2019 Board Meeting. The list of rebates is the culmination of results produced by the Joint Energy Efficiency Study conducted by NIPCO, Corn Belt Power, and L&O Power Cooperative and a months-long review by all NIPCO Energy Advisors and Member Services personnel.
A Brief History
Electric cooperatives across Iowa have established a robust set of cost-effective, energy efficiency programs for their member-consumers during the five-year period of 2015–2019. Independent, third-party professional energy-efficiency consultants are contracted to perform an analysis of all energy efficiency offerings and goals outlined by each Generation & Transmission Cooperative (G&T) that sets policies to support member cooperatives’ energy efficiency programs offered to their members.
The program offerings and the goals have been tailored to the local energy needs of each electric cooperative’s member-consumers. The electric markets served by the Iowa rural electric cooperatives differ from co-op to co-op and are different from markets served by other electric utilities. Some of the key differences include:
- Higher percentage of residential customers served by cooperative utilities
- Significantly newer and fewer commercial and industrial member-consumers served by cooperative utilities
- Natural gas is not the primary home heating fuel in rural areas
- Co-ops serve fewer meters per mile of power line compared to other utilities
Over the past several years, electric cooperatives in Iowa have demonstrated and documented their commitment to energy efficiency with various energy efficiency filings made with the Iowa Utilities Board and the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Advocate. This 2015-2019 filing was completed at an investment level reaching nearly $16 million.
This level of investment is a testament to the importance and value that electric cooperatives and their members see in energy efficiency programs.
In the 2015–2019 Energy Efficiency Study, it was determined the energy savings from the five-year investment are expected to total nearly 3.2 billion kWh over the life of the measures installed during that five-year period. The 3.2 billion kWh represents enough electricity to power more than 290,000 homes for a full year.
In 2014, NIPCO partnered and cost-shared a “Joint Energy Efficiency Study” with neighboring G&Ts Corn Belt Power and L&O Power Cooperative to define and refine energy efficiency goals and programs. In 2019, a new, 5-year study was conducted to ensure energy efficiency programs remain a value for co-op member-consumers and Iowa’s electric cooperatives as they continue to provide environmentally responsible and affordable electricity.
NIPCO Rebates Promote Installation of Level 2 Electric Vehicle Chargers
The biggest change to the 2020 rebate program is the addition of rebates available for the installation of Residential and Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural Level 2 electric vehicle chargers.
The 2018 Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) report projects the number of electric vehicles on the road in the U.S. to grow from 272,000 in 2016 to 26,614,986 in 2050. This represents a 14.7% compound annual growth rate.
As consumer-members in the NIPCO system consider the purchase of an electric vehicle, the 2020 NIPCO policy allows member distribution cooperatives and municipal utilities the ability to offer rebates to their Residential and Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural accounts. Rebates allow for reimbursement of up to 50% toward the purchase of Level 2 electric vehicle chargers (wall mount or pedestal mount) with a maximum rebate of up to $750 for Residential use (up to two (2) chargers per account) and a maximum rebate amount of up to $1,200 for Commercial/Industrial/Agricultural use (up to five (5) chargers per account). Contact one of NIPCO's member distribution cooperatives or municipal utilities for more details on their rebate program.