DES MOINES, Iowa – Recognizing that few in business understand the complexities of electric-utility rate regulation or incentives, Iowa Business for Clean Energy announced plans today for its “Reform the Grid” workshop in late April in Des Moines.
The IBCE, a statewide nonprofit focused on fostering policy discussions that enable Iowa businesses to access clean energy at a competitive price, will host the event at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, 909 Robert D. Ray Drive, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., April 28. Admission is free.
“Many Iowa communities’ commercial electric rates can be 50-percent higher than their competitors just down the highway. It’s in danger of getting worse if we don’t make significant, common-sense changes,” said executive director Bob Rafferty. “Unfortunately, Iowa’s decades-old approach to managing the grid is not designed or equipped for that future and it threatens to hold us back. Iowa’s businesses will need access to a low-cost, clean energy future to remain or become competitive. The purpose of the Reform the Grid workshop is to start the discussion of modernizing Iowa’s approach to regulating our electric market.”
The workshop will feature national experts Ryan Katofsky, managing director of the Advanced Energy Economy; Doug Scott, vice president of electricity and efficiency at the Great Plains Institute; and Neil Chatterjee, former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They will discuss, in business terms, why regulation grounded in the past fails to meet our current and future needs, and what other states are doing to ensure a clean, reliable, and competitive grid. The workshop will also include roundtable discussions with business leaders to gauge reactions and explore strategies on how to move Iowa forward.
Rafferty continued, “The clean grid of the future must rely on innovation and new technologies to deliver the lowest-cost energy. The current approach creates a significant financial disincentive for electric utilities to leverage the technologies and distributed energy resources that experts acknowledge is critical for a reliable, low-cost, clean energy grid. Change is never easy but it certainly won’t happen without engagement from the business community, which is willing and ready to be part of the discussion. The Reform the Grid workshop starts that discussion.”
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About Iowa Business for Clean Energy
Iowa Business for Clean Energy recognizes the importance of low-cost, clean energy to Iowa’s economic competitiveness. Iowa Business for Clean Energy educates and fosters dialogue with business leaders on strategies to ensure access to a low-carbon future at competitive prices.