May 2019 Meeting Notes
CCL Video Conference Call
On the Monthly Call we were told that we (nationally) had 386 in-district lobby meetings, 67 op-eds and 1818 outreach events, all bigger than the same time period last year. They showed a short climate video that we could put on our website. (It is located at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2512762532091000.) Carlos Curberlo was the guest speaker.
Actions mentioned were
1) Have our group make lobby meeting plans to pass on to our lobbyists going to DC in June,
2) Have people call MoCs on June 5th (all the Grand Canyon calls for next month be on June 5th, as Mark suggested), and have people tweet our MoCs on June 11th.
Rest of the Meeting
The rest of the meeting was spent talking with Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) Chair Geri Huser, her “handler” Anna Hyatt, Representative Mary Mascher and Senator Joe Bolkcom.
We didn’t get to the “Announcements” part of the agenda.
A few notes I made:
The IUB doesn’t make policy, they just impliment it.
The general topic was how to charge electric utility customers for grid support and maintenence.
For-profit versus publically-owned utilities
Customers with solar panels versus customers without solar panels
Flat-fee versus per kW-hr
An example: For the Des Moines water utility they charge a flat fee of ~ $13/residential customer, ~ $200/commercial customer
There is a pilot program in place for Alliant but I can’t remember its details. Geri says everyone on all sides hates it so they must of done it correctly!
There is already a law requiring the allowance of net metering. Perhaps the Alliant pilot program is contrary to that law?
There should be a state study of the costs to grid support of residential and commercial solar.
The demand for such a study must come from the state legislature.
Geri suggested that there needed to be philosophical changes to our current legislation having to do with electric utilities to address the many issues we brought up. She didn’t provide specifics, or if she did I didn’t understand them.
Marc Franke joined us even though he is a member of the Cedar Rapids chapter, and he was a great addition. He pointed out that residential solar actually makes it less expensive for the utilities to provide power effectively to all its customers, so it is not clear why there should be an extra “grid support” charge for customers with solar panels.
People were complaining about utilities stalling when customers installed solar. Geri pointed out that the UIB investigates complaints, so we should file a complaint when something like that happens.
Other states regulate their utilities in a variety of ways. The IUB has opportunities to learn about those other ways.
I presented a graphic (from the REMI study) to show how a revenue-neutral price on carbon would dramatically increase wind energy and decrease coal in our part of the country. This would be really good economically for Iowa. Geri or Marc mentioned that we have tremendous untapped wind potential in Iowa. John suggested that the graphic be shared with all our members. Here it is (WNC stands for West North Central Region):