The Iowa Environmental Council recently expressed criticism of MidAmerian Energy for failing to require enough energy savings from industrial customers in the company’s five-year efficiency plan. An energy industry consultant says companies are already taking many steps to conserve energy and cut production costs.

Bill Glahn of Piedmont Consulting says industry has to think beyond rebates and incentives for energy efficiency when it comes to keeping plants running. Glahn says businesses often don’t have time to wait when replacing machinery, it if means keeping a plant running, so they don’t make decisions based on whether it will qualify for a rebate.

He says the industries have to think ahead and be able to react quickly. The MidAmerican plan proposes 24-million dollars for industrial energy efficiency programs. Glahn says that’s a lot of money, but he says even with that much put forward, only about 78 cents on the dollar gets back to customers in the form of rebates and customer incentive. He says 22 cents of the dollar goes to overhead and running rebate programs, so industry would like to see more of that money going to them. Glahn says they’d like to cut out the middle man.

Glahn says industry believes it could run the energy efficiency programs itself and have 100-percent of the money going into energy efficiency programs. He says industries won’t be asking for more utility dollars or for more government dollars, as he says they have all the incentive to do it themselves and want more opportunity to do things themselves.

Glahn says industries are looking for any area where they can save money and finding ways to be more energy efficient is a natural way to do that.