Access Energy Cooperative regularly evaluates the potential for energy efficiency within our service area, have set energy-efficiency goals and developed energy-efficiency programs to achieve those goals.
At the beginning of this very complex project, Access Energy Cooperative teamed up with all the other electric cooperatives in the state, along with NE Power and AECI, a third-party consultant with special expertise in energy efficiency programs, and the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives to study and evaluate the possible results that could be expected from developing a wide variety of energy-efficiency programs.
This strategic planning exercise was not unlike the one that many businesses follow to solve problems or develop strategies for the future – but in the case Access Energy Cooperative, the process included another element that’s not available to businesses that must generate profits for their stockholders: the Seven Cooperative Principles that form the basis of our not-for-profit business model. For example, the principle of Concern for Community certainly came into play as we looked for ways to help our residential, small business and large industrial members use electricity in a more efficient manner.
In 2008, legislation was passed requiring that the Access Energy Cooperative (along with all other electric cooperatives in Iowa) plan – including progress-toward-goal reports – be filed with the state. Our energy efficiency program plan was given to state officials in December 2009, and we filed our first progress-toward goal report in December 2011. This report included data for calendar year 2010, which was the first year of a plan that runs through 2014.
In 2010, Access Energy Cooperative spent $565,939 in energy efficiency programs, such as rebates for energy efficiency improvements, an aggressive program for energy efficiency education, and a free energy audit program for members and propane customers. Your participation in our programs will result 1,550,257 kWh of energy saved over the life of those products installed in 2010.
After year one, Access Energy Cooperative is well on our way to achieving our 5-year energy-efficiency goals. In 2010 we reached 97% of our goal of achieving an energy savings of 1,591,276 kWh, at a cost of $0.0263 per kWh. If you’re already participating in Access Energy Cooperative’s energy-efficiency programs, thank you – you’ve already benefitted from the opportunities to save both energy and money at home and at work. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of these programs, read your monthly newsletter, or check out our website at accessenergycoop.com now to learn more about the wide variety of rebates, programs and incentives that can help you save.