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DES MOINES, Iowa – (Dec. 27, 2018) – A change in state law means MidAmerican Energy Company’s Iowa customers will soon see a monthly “energy efficiency charge” on their utility bills – though customers are not actually paying a new fee.

Beginning in January, Iowa’s regulated utilities, including MidAmerican Energy, will show energy efficiency fees on a separate line on monthly customer bills. Utilities are required to use the fees to fund energy efficiency programs. MidAmerican Energy does not profit from the fees, and the money collected is passed through to other customers to support their energy-saving projects.

Law to lift ban on fee disclosure in January
The legislation, signed into law in May, requires utilities to itemize the energy efficiency charge beginning January 1. That’s a significant change from the previous law that has barred utilities from listing the charge on monthly bills and required them to include the fee in the energy rate charge.

“Most of our Iowa customers, along with other regulated utility customers in the state, probably don’t know they are paying the monthly energy efficiency fee, which funds energy efficiency programs,” Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican Energy’s vice president of economic connections and integration, said. “That changes in January, when the law will require utilities to list the fee. We welcome that transparency, and we think our customers will, too.”

Customers to see lower energy efficiency program charges later in 2019
The law will also reduce MidAmerican Energy customer utility bills by capping energy efficiency program spending. In 2017, MidAmerican Energy’s Iowa customers paid, on average, more than 7 percent of their bills toward energy efficiency programs, the highest in the nation. During that 12-month period, an average single family home paid $145.16, including $67.50 on electric and $77.66 on natural gas bills for energy efficiency programs.

The legislation will limit energy efficiency program spending at 2 percent for electric and 1.5 percent for natural gas. The spending caps will save MidAmerican Energy customers an estimated $80 - $90 million annually. On average, it will save about $81 per year for MidAmerican Energy’s residential gas and electric customers, $172 for commercial and more than $12,000 for industrial energy users.

Once the Iowa Utilities Board issues a ruling on MidAmerican Energy’s latest proposed energy efficiency program spending plan, which the board must file by the end of March, the company’s Iowa customers will pay reduced energy efficiency charges. Those reductions will take effect later in the year, depending on the board’s ruling.

While MidAmerican Energy customers will pay less each month, the company will continue to offer energy efficiency programs and customer energy savings incentives.

“Since our Iowa customers will pay less every month into an energy efficiency fund, they are now able to make more of their own spending decisions,” Kunert said. “Customers will also continue to benefit from robust energy efficiency programs, in addition to the clean, renewable energy that MidAmerican delivers to them.” 

New look for monthly bill
Separately, MidAmerican Energy customers will see a new monthly bill format beginning in January. MidAmerican Energy redesigned the bill, based on customer input, to make it easier to understand monthly energy use and charges.

About MidAmerican Energy Company
MidAmerican Energy Company, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at midamericanenergy.com and company social media channels.
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