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Environmental Impact

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A native house sparrow enjoys late-season sunflower seeds left after the plant's yellow petals have long-faded.

NIPCO is Committed to Environmental Responsibility

NIPCO provides policies and programs that support our members' efforts in the areas of energy efficiency and load management. 

Members are engaged in a variety of conservation and energy efficiency programs that promote, support and market load management, dual heat, water heaters, heat pumps, air conditioning, storage heating, grain drying, irrigation, photovoltaics and numerous other programs.

Member-owners can receive rebates on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances through their member cooperatives.

Residential, commercial and industrial members can request energy audits from their cooperatives, to learn about their energy usage and identify ways they can save energy and money.

NIPCO's member cooperatives have had load management programs in place for decades. NIPCO has offered the "Switch Makes Cents" load management program since 1984. Under programs like Switch Makes Cents, member-owners volunteer to have water heaters, pumps or other major energy-using devices cycled off during periods of peak energy demand.

Some member cooperatives are installing “smart meters” and offering online software programs, such as SmartHub, that give member owners tools to monitor their home energy usage. 

NIPCO's power providers are committed to environmental responsibility.

NIPCO's primary power supplier,Basin Electric Power Cooperative, headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, supplies approximately 80 percent of NIPCO's purchased power needs, with Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) supplying the remaining 20 percent through hydro-electric resources.

Basin Electric advocated responsible reclamation practices at their original mine location, beginning in the 1960s – long before it was required by law. That commitment continues through the Freedom Mine and its award-winning reclamation practices to this day. The mine, operated by The Coteau Properties Company, supplies lignite coal to Basin Electric’s North Dakota facilities. These facilities provide energy that powers the NIPCO membership, along with over 800 MW (megawatts) of wind generation and a variety of other resources including, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro-electric.

All Basin Electric and subsidiary facilities are 100 percent environmentally compliant. Through 2016, Basin Electric and its subsidiaries have invested more than $1.6 billion in emissions control technology, and more than $181 million was spent in 2015 alone to operate and maintain those controls.

View NIPCO's commitment to the environment, first-hand.

If you are a member of a rural electric cooperative in western Iowa, contact your REC to learn about opportunities to view this commitment to environmental stewardship, first-hand, on the Energy Trail Tour, offered annually and co-hosted by NIPCO and its member rural electric distribution cooperatives. 

The tours, scheduled in July and August, provide member-owners a personal journey to learn about electric generation and meet the people responsible for providing the electric power that is delivered to their homes, farms, and businesses in western Iowa. Tours help to showcase, first-hand, the value of an electric generation portfolio that includes coal as a part of America’s energy mix. Three days of experiencing the passion, innovation, and dedication of NIPCO's power providers shapes member perceptions of how clean electricity is generated in a carbon-constrained world.

Tours showcase electric generation facilities including hydro, coal-fired and wind and also educated participants on the benefits of carbon capture and the land stewardship efforts at Coteau Properties’ Freedom Mine.