Clean Energy Districts of Iowa hosted a Learning Session with Iowa’s First Congressional District Representative Abby Finkenauer

A gathering of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, clean energy leaders on 4/15/19 at Schera’s Restaurant, Elkader, IA
Back Row L to R: Larry Gritton, Andy Johnson, Jim Martin-Schramm, Jim Osterhaus, Steve Falck, Raki Ginnakouros, Larry Grimstad
Front Row L to R: Ed Wulfekuhle, Amy Bouska, Abby Finkenauer, MJ Smith, Joleen Jansen

Representatives from Howard, Dubuque, Winneshiek, Delaware and Clayton County Energy Districts met with Iowa’s First Congressional District Representative Abby Finkenauer on April 15th, at Schera’s Restaurant, in Elkader, IA.  Congresswoman Finkenauer was introduced to the energy district model and shown how, with a federal-local partnership, energy districts have significant potential to affect nationwide energy prosperity and climate stewardship.

Steve Falck, Iowa Environmental Law and Policy Center speaks of the bipartisan coalition being assembled across Iowa. Fair access to clean and local energy is not a divisive topic.

The energy district model was born and bred in Iowa’s First Congressional District.  

Winneshiek Energy District Director, Andy Johnson, explained energy districts lead and implement energy efficiency programs, energy planning, and advocate for local clean energy ownership. This is creating significant local wealth retention, transforming the local economy, and promoting climate stewardship. Energy districts also prioritize equity, realizing energy efficiency is especially helpful for their most vulnerable residents. Each district provides, locally tailored clean energy programming for farms, business, homes and institutions.

The learning session consisted of telling energy district success stories happening all over Iowa’s First Congressional District. Local energy efficiency and solar small business owners relayed how the energy districts have been great partners in helping to grow their business. Clayton County Energy District, Program Manager Joleen Jansen shared a story from a

Recent, local Clean Energy District success stories were relayed to Congresswoman Finkenauer

Guttenberg resident, who attended a Clayton County Energy District, LED Bulb Swap at the Guttenberg farmers market. There, she signed up for the First Step Home Efficiency Program. This alone caused a reduction in energy costs and led to further energy planning services. The homeowners hired a contractor to install additional insulation and in areas of their home where it was discovered no insulation was present. The combinations of these steps has led to significant energy savings and a safer and more comfortable home.

Jansen comments, “We believe this is how we are building community; regardless of the situation when we spend less on energy we have more for our pocketbooks, balance sheets, bottom line and mission. This is good for the local economy and good for the environment, a win -win.”

Congresswoman Finkenauer expressed pride in this locally led clean energy movement, and as our representative in Washington, she promised to continue learning and discovering ways to advance the energy district movement.