As a result of The First Step Home Efficiency Program

132 homes assessed and counting!

2467 LED bulb replacements

$11799  saved on lighting bill   

$1163 water bill savings

137.4 ton CO2 emmission reduction

$115/household savings

$15,381 total household energy bill savings


Benchmark & Community Impact Report



Clayton County Energy District’s three prong overarching “building community” goal:
To positively affect the local economy by retaining & reinvesting energy dollars.
To positively impact climate change through the promotion of wise energy use.
To facilitate fair access to clean local energy.



Proposed 2019 Benchmarks
(funding dependent)
Continuation and building of activity cycle set in 2018




  • Conduct 75 residential energy audits and direct installations
  • Implement 15 farm energy plans
  • Conduct 20 local clean energy education/outreach programs to include at least one workshop, 4 Clean Energy Breakfasts and 15 speaking engagements and LED swaps
  • Establish LED light swap stations at local food shelf – Approval has been made with the Clayton County Food Shelf Board –  Will apply to Clayton County Foundation For the Future.
  • Double local membership investment to $10,000
    Clean Energy Contractors ~ Business Members – 10
    Clean Energy Advocates ~ Supporting Members of our Energy District-50
    Workshop Sponsors ~ (3) $750 
  • Minimum Bronze Level Sol-Smart designation for Guttenberg, Monona & Elkader
  • Help frame and institute a ratepayer energy efficiency program in Guttenberg
  • Map Clayton County’s solar installations and Home Efficiency Audits



Additional Objectives & Detail:

  • Staff expansion to execute our community building mission we must build capacity by adding staff. – Ideally, the CCED would be staffed with a (2)FTE & Technical Service Provider(s)
  • ED Expansion:As the 2nd Energy District in the nation, we endeavor to serve as a role model for other counties
  • Pursue local grant funding and allocation Clayton County Foundation for the Future, Upper Mississippi Gaming Association, Energy Foundation and Federal DOE; Clayton County Board of Supervisors
  • Membership Fund Drive – Green meets Green dinners; potential Trivia Fundraiser and Partnership with the VCTC inc.; Annual letter of Appeal
  • Formation of Association – Clean Energy Districts of Iowa
     1) Strengthens our position IUB Energy Efficiency Fund Allocation   Docket. The IUB should offer an RFP to qualifying TSP providers, like local energy districts; This is a large scale sustainable funding source
     2) Provides a better basis for pursuing large foundation dollars

   3) A statewide organization of Clean Energy Districts may provide leverage for a future legislature with authorization CED legislation for the universal local model
 4) Reduce duplicity



  • Public Engagement & Education
  • Farm, Residential, Commercial & NTE – connecting with Utility Energy Rebates; Solar Power promotion – tax credits
  • Public Speaking Engagements various agencies, school boards and town councils to spread the good word
  • Collected contact info at various events throughout the year for Home Energy Assessments and Farm Energy planning
  • Clayton County Fair presence
  • REC Partnership – New manager – Community Solar Education\
  • Host a regional Green Living Workshop & Home Tour
  • Accelerate the county-wide “Main St” LED transition – need tracking mechanism
  • Benefit the Clayton County LMI population by connecting them to home energy assessments and LED swap
  • Farm Energy Planning: Clayton County farm energy inputs, like nitrogen application, electricity and gas usage,annually are in the millions of $$. The CCED plans to create awareness for and connection to energy efficiency measures, cost share programs and clean energy generation.
  • Encourage solar generation and the solar business sector  – seeking SolSmart Designations, business spotlights, solar inventory/ interactive web map



  • Advocacy
    • Research and Analysis for authorizing legislation for the formation of energy districts in every Iowa County
    • Defend Net Metering at the Statehouse partnering with Iowa State Clean Energy Table & Iowa Environmental Council, Center for Energy & Environmental Education
    • Legislator relationship building
    • Energy Efficiency/Solar Tours – US Rep Abby Finkenauer
    • Energy Efficiency Lobby Day
    • Continued Solar Tax Credits



  • Continued Branding/Presence Efforts
    Building Community by facilitating Local, Clean & Fair Energy
    Leave behind donation cards,  Membership Promotional Materials,
    Website (Average 209 visitors/month)News Releases, Social Media, Booth Development

Annual Report of Activities


January 2019

February 2019

  • Defended Net Energy Metering (NEM) against Iowa Statehouse anti NEM legislation
  • Conducted SolSmart orientation & planning meetings with Elkader, Monona and Guttenberg city leaders
  • Met the Strawberry Point City Council to explain Energy District work and discuss potential First Step Home Efficiency Program proposal
  • Shared First Step Home Efficiency Program success model with Dubuque County Energy District
  • Fine tuned with WED First Step Home Efficiency Programming and Fee Schedule
  • Developed programming calendar for 2019
  • Initiated plans for Energy District Learning Tour for Rep Abby Finkenauer
  • Established relationship with ACEC regarding TSP for rural residential energy assessments
  • Assisted in the planning for incorporation of Clean Energy Districts of Iowa association
  • Filed IA Secretary of State Biennial report
  • Hired communication specialist for CCED
  • Gave a Energy District 101 presentation the Edgewood Economic Think Tank group
  • Participated in Iowa Environmental Council Legislative Round Table Discussions

March 2019

  • Hosted Quarterly Energy Breakfast for Rural Residents in Edgewood; Pat Shaefers, NCRS & John Molumby, ACEC
  • Filed a pre-application for First Step Home Efficiency Program grant assistance with the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corp
  • Worked with the City of Guttenberg to provide residential ratepayer access to energy efficiency program
  • Awarded a $1000 grant from the Clayton County Foundation for the Future to support the CCED residential LED lighting transition via permanent swap station at the Clayton County Food Shelf and mobile swap stations
  • Communicated with Rep Anne Osmundson, Rep Mike Bergan and Michael Breitbach regarding the anti-net metering bill
  • Attended the Farm Bureau legislator forum to speak out against anti-customer owned solar laws
  • logged our first sustaining supporting member John and Jane Metcalf
  • Presented Clean Energy District 101 presentation to Edgewood Economic Think Tank Group
  • Participated in Iowa Environmental Council Legislative Round Table Discussions

April 2019

  • Worked with City of Guttenberg to develop a fair net metering policy, allowing several residential solar policies to proceed
  • Continued work with Elkader, Monona & Guttenberg to advance their SolSmart National Designation application
    Elkader and Monona are studying options to solar power several municipal
  • Helped to incorporate the Clean Energy District of Iowa Association
  • Organized a Trivia Night fundraiser for Clean Energy Districts
  • Received a $4000 award from the Nathan Cumming Foundation for the equitable energy efficiency programming
  • Represented the Clayton County Energy District at the incorporation meeting for the Clean Energy Districts of Iowa incorporation meeting
  • Gave presentation “Building Community with your Energy District” presentation to the Elkader/Guttenberg PEO group
  • Participated in Iowa Environmental Council Legislative Round Table Discussions


January 2018


February 2018

  • Budget Session
  • Membership Drive Planning Session 

March 2018

  • Farm Energy Breakfast with Joel Zook – 30ish attendees
    Business & Supporting Member placards developed and displayed at all public events
  • Prepared a pre-app for Upper Mississippi Gaming Corp – to fund a permanent LED Swap Station at the CC Food Shelf – Goal supply 5000 LED bulbs to low income residents or 4/household=1250 households Economic Benefit @ $5.60/bulb=$28,000/yr savings
    (not awarded)
  • Community Energy Planning with the UNI Center for Environmental & Energy Education & Eric Giddins (Strawberry Point, Elkader, Guttenberg, Monona, McGregor, Marquette)
  • Developed and Introduction to the CCED presentation


April 2018

  • Organized the 5/4 Solar for Non-Taxable Entities…Let’s Get Started Workshop
    Paying less for energy = more for your mission = better for the community = better for the world
  • Community Energy Planning with the UNI Center for Environmental & Energy Education
  • Eric Giddins (Strawberry Point, Elkader, Guttenberg, Monona, McGregor, Marquette)
  • Presentation to the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital Foundation


May 2018

  • 5/4 Solar for Non-Taxable Entities…Let’s Get Started Workshop 65+ attendees
    Energy Savings=
  • Town of Volga, St Paul Lutheran considering solar…many other leads to come
  • SolSmart Community Partner application – pitched the idea to several local governments
  • Managed a booth at the Music & Monarchs Festival & LED Bulb Swap


June 2018

  • Membership Drive Organization Continue
  • Communia Neighborhood Energy Audit Blitz
  • Home Energy Breakfast and Garnavillo Auto/ FreeWind Solar presentation
  • Guttenberg SolSmart Community & Home Energy Efficiency program discussion

July 2019

  • Clayton County Solar Map data collection begins


August 2018

  • Clayton County Fair in partnership with Clayton County CAN
  • Solar Panels on Display at the Fair – credit Wufekuhle Electric
  • Volga City Truck Cruise in partnership with Clayton County CAN
  • SolSmart Grant grant recipient 

Sept 2018

  • Marquette Town Council moves forward a Solar Power Well Projec
  • Guttenberg COU/Landlord/Energy District Rental Unit Lights & Water project approved & planned
  • Membership Renewals
  • Fundraisers planned
  • Joined the RE-AMP Clean Energy State Table Grant dollars received
  • Board bio’s added to the website
    St Paul’s Lutheran – Monona conducted an Energy Assessment in advance of solar generation


Oct 2018


  • Met with Guttenberg City Council – Introduced EE partnership program, Sol-Smart technical advice provided for their Net Metering policy
  • Local Sourcing – LED & faucet & shower head aerators
  • Attended a RE-Amp energy efficiency roundtable
  • 10/17 Iowa Clean Energy State Table – Energy Efficiency Meeting
  • Fundraisers held 10/15 & 10/16 – $5150 raised 11 donors each from North and South

November 2018


  • Direct Install Blitz at 37 apartment units in Guttenberg –
  • Legislator Solar Tour with IEC & Iowa Community Action – Sen Mike Breitbach & Anne Osmundsen
  • GIA conducted 7 Home Energy Assessments and Direct Installs
  • Annual Board Reorganization Meeting


December 2018

  • Guttenberg City official EE & Solsmart summit
  • Electric Vehicle Breakfast – Johnson’s (45) in attendance best attendance to date
  • Xmas Light recycling project – collection sites in every town including one at the County Transfer Station – quadrupled at least our collection efforts – 400+lbs collected up from 90lbs in 2017
  • LED Giveaway at Shepherd of the Hills “Xmas Just for Kids” 200 families received 3 LED Bulbs and education




January 2017

  • Hired Program Coordinator – Contracted Service with Jansen Products/Joleen Jansen  position is compensated to work 4 hours a week to do the work of the CCED.


Feb 2017

  • Co Hosted Legislative Listening post at Johnson’s. Around 80 people in attendance GIA team collected home energy assessment


March 2017

– Visited Daren Bockenstedt  Hog Farm/ Final Electric, Edgewood Locker, Community Savings Bank, Signs and Frames – luncheon and press conference

  • March 18, 2017
    LED Lighting Workshop 36 attendees ( farmers, homeowners, business, gov officials etc), Vendors and Facebook Live Event 

April 2017

  • Began meeting with commercial “Main St.” businesses, institutions and organizations to encourage LED transitions. Moser’s, Rock a Dot, Carter House, Rivals – Strawberry Point, Premier Ag Systems
  • Joel Zook audited the Clayton Lighthouse for perspective new owner
  • Throughout the year met or talked on the phone with Guttenberg, McGregor, Edgewood, Elkader & Strawberry Point


May 2017

  • Website redesigned and established & redirected
  • Promoted the upcoming Farm Energy Fair
  • Managed a booth at the Music & Monarchs Festival


June 2017



July 2017

  • Completed portion of USDA- Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Grant App: RCDI Engagement and Planning Tools for Resilient Communities- CCED
    (not awarded)
  • Started to organize our new 4 for 4 light bulb swaps by coordinating with Norby’s, Elkader to be an outlet for low cost 60 watt equivalent LED light bulbs. Eventually coordinated with Fisk Farm and Home, Monona.


August 2017

  • Co hosted a Clayton County Fair booth with Clayton County CAN focused on Farm Energy Planning & LED transitions – Collected 40 some names of local residents interested in farm energy planning, home energy assessments or joining the distribution list


September 2017

  • New board members: Recruited new board members from Monona – Gary Passmore, Volga – Tom Klingman, St. Olaf – Randy Lenth
  • New board recruits represent underrepresented geographic locations in the county & provide expertise in the area of energy planning.


October 2017


November 2017

  • Began “Business Member” spotlight program to be fully implemented 2017
  • Promoted and attended a Lunch Learn in Guttenberg by CCED business member Eagle Point Solar
  • Held a partner exhibit booth at the Clayton County Annual Meeting
  • Harry Blobaum represented the CCED in Des Moines at a gathering of the evaluation committee of the Solutions Project.  ( At this meeting, Andy J. was on a panel to discuss what we are doing in Iowa regarding clean energy and efficiency.  They are all about efficiency and clean energy and after concentrating on the states of NY and CA, they are interested in Iowa. 


December 2017


December 2016

  • Attended the Iowa Energy Conference – This conference focused on justification of Local & Clean Energy Districts & hosted several state legislators to discuss the formation of enabling legislation for a quasi governmental energy district in every Iowa county.
  • Decorah News covers the creation of CCED