Governor Chet Culver is calling on state lawmakers to set new goals to help reduce Iowa’s dependence on imported energy. Culver’s also asking Iowans to implement energy efficiency projects in their homes and businesses in hopes of reducing energy use by one-and-a-half percent a year. Culver’s directing state utility regulators to jump start the process.
"For example, statewide programs to encourage the use of more efficient light bulbs, weatherization projects where we just put more insulation in homes and buildings," Culver says. The governor says the state should set the goal of getting one-quarter of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Today, about seven-and-a-half percent of the energy Iowans consume comes from alternative sources to fossil fuels.
That means more wind energy, more geothermal, biomass, solar, hydro — a lot of opportunities to increase the amount of renewable energy that we produce in Iowa," Culver says. Finally, Culver is appointing a state commission on energy efficiency to work with the local officials who’re in charge of building codes in Iowa cities and counties.
"To really be smarter about green design, green building," Culver says. "We have a lot of these requirements currently on the books in terms of residential and commercial and industrial buildings, but they’re not being enforced." Culver’s asking the Iowa Department of Public Safety to work with local officials to start enforcing those building rules.
The governor also suggests the state may come up with a rating system that lets purchasers know the energy efficient rating of the property they’re hoping buy. The state of Colorado, for example, provides "E-Star" energy ratings for both new and existing homes. Go to www.e-star.com to find out more about Colorado’s system.