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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Energy Efficiency in State Facilities   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/15/2014
Program Overview:
State: Iowa
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Specific technologies not identified
Applicable Sectors: State Government
Requirement:Average energy use reduction of 15% by 2015 in state buildings from a 2008 baseline
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Executive Order No. 6 (2008)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Executive Order No. 20 (2009)
Authority 3:
Iowa Code ยง 8A.311(19)

Energy Conservation Goals

In April 2005 Iowa governor Tom Vilsack issued Executive Order No. 41, directing state agencies to reduce electricity and natural gas use in buildings by an average of 15% by 2010, relative to their energy use in 2000. In February 2008, Governor Chet Culver issued Executive Order No. 6 (EO 6), rescinding the earlier order and providing for a further 15% reduction in the use of natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, and water in state buildings within 5 years. A joint committee called the Energy Excellent Buildings Task Force and composed of representatives from various state agencies will provide guidance towards achieving this goal. In compliance with E.O. 6, a Green Government Master Plan was developed outlining the results of a state agency survey on energy use and offering recommendations for improvement.

Retrofits and Audits

In December 2009, Governor Culver also issued Executive Order 20, which includes a measure requiring all state buildings to conduct energy efficiency retrofits.

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which operates the Capitol Complex, has adopted an extensive energy management strategy which includes revised building temperature settings and limitations on off-hour use of general lighting. DAS has partnered with MidAmerican Energy to conduct energy audits of all the buildings on the state Capitol Complex and is working to implement recommendations resulting from the studies. Click 
here for more information on the DAS energy management strategies.

Benchmarking Public Buildings

The Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Energy Center used a Department of Energy grant to benchmark 1200 buildings in the Iowa Benchmarking System (IBS). At least 800 more public buildings are planned to be added to the IBS by October 2014. The IBS allows public sector facility managers to enter building size, usage types, utility, and other information into the system and generate reports to learn how their facilities compare to similar facilities in Iowa and around the country. The IBS can be used as a tool to track the results over time and ensure the investment is reaping the anticipated energy reductions.

City Energy Management Program

To help cities around Iowa set energy reduction goals and implement energy efficiency projects, the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Energy Office has created the City Energy Management Program.

Through the shared use of a Regional Energy Manager (REM), participating municipalities will share technical resources. The REM will work with the cities to provide technical assistance in identifying energy use and areas where efficiency can be improved by focusing on buildings, outdoor lighting, and water/wastewater facilities.

The City Energy Management Program aims to change the local municipal perspective of looking at energy efficiency on a project-by-project basis, and instead undertake energy improvements as critical elements of a successful energy action strategy for the city. This program is funded through an award from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Purchasing Requirements

Life cycle cost and energy efficiency are two required criteria to be used by DAS, public universities, the state department of transportation, the department for the blind, and other state agencies in developing standards and specifications for purchasing energy-consuming products (Iowa Code § 8A.311(19)). 

Iowa Economic Development Authority
Office of Energy Independence
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (515) 725-0434
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.