|The IUB is a fact-finding body that hears evidence in cases filed before it and makes decisions based on the evidence presented in those cases. An advocate of neither the public nor the utilities, the IUB is required by state statute to make decisions that balance the interests of all parties to ensure the utilities provide adequate and reliable service at reasonable prices.
April Is National Safe Digging Month The Iowa Utilities Board is joining the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and statewide efforts to remind Iowans to always call 811 before digging to have underground utility lines located and marked, and to reduce the risk of property damage, injuries, utility outages, and fines. Governor Terry Branstad will be issuing a Proclamation to officially designate April as Safe Digging Month in Iowa. On April 29-30, the Iowa Utilities Board will co-sponsor the 2014 Damage Prevention Summit, a free educational event for those interested in industry best practices and preventing damage to crucial underground facilities. An informative video series titled “Dig Safe” is also available from Common Ground Iowa. For more information, please see the Board’s news release.
Utility Winter Heating Disconnection Moratorium Ended April 1 The Iowa Utilities Board reminds energy utility customers that the winter heating disconnection moratorium ended April 1, and some customers could be disconnected from energy services. All customers concerned about not being able to pay utility bill debts are urged to contact their local energy utility about payment options, or their Community Action Agency (CAA) as soon as possible. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds are limited, but applications are still being accepted by Iowa’s CAAs through April 30, 2014. For details, review Iowa’s rules regarding natural gas and electric service disconnections and payment agreements and see the Board’s news release.
MidAmerican Energy Company Electric Rate Decision On March 17, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board issued its decision order approving settlement agreement, with modifications, in MidAmerican Energy Company’s electric rate case, Docket No. RPU-2013-0004. Board approval maintains the $45.2 million temporary rate increase and allows the permanent rate increase to be implemented in two additional phases, in 2015 and 2016, each estimated to generate $45.15 million in additional revenues. See the Board’s MidAmerican electric rate decision news release for more information.
Iowa-American Water Company Rate Increase On February 28, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board issued its final decision and order in the Iowa-American Water Company rate case. The Board had previously announced its verbal decision order and issued a news release on February 4, 2014. For more information please see the RPU-2013-0002 information page.
Board Opens Notice of Inquiry on Distributed Generation The Iowa Utilities Board has issued an Order Initiating Docket No. NOI-2014-0001 to gather information related to policy and technical issues associated with distributed generation. Anyone may participate by submitting comments via the Board’s electronic filing system. See the news release for more information.
Board Submits Comments to EPA on Regulation of CO2 Emissions from Existing Power Plants At the request of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Iowa Utilities Board has provided initial comments in a December 6, 2013, letter, regarding the EPA’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions stemming from existing power plants. For more information, review the Board’s letter.
Rock Island Clean Line LLC is proposing to build a high-voltage direct current transmission line across Iowa. Anyone that files an objection with the Iowa Utilities Board to the proposed project and who receives an automated email message with instructions for delivering notice to other individuals may disregard the message; those instructions do not apply to objections filed in this case. Additional information about the Board’s review process is explained on the Electric Transmission Line Franchise Process page. NOTE: Board Member Sheila K. Tipton was involved in the representation of Rock Island Clean Line, LLC while a member of her former law firm. Ms. Tipton has severed all ties with her former law firm, which no longer represents Rock Island Clean Line, LLC, and pursuant to the applicable rules of ethics, Ms. Tipton will have no involvement in this case.
Annual Report Filings On or before April 1 of each year, each public utility subject to Iowa Code chapter 476 is required to file an annual report covering operations during the immediately preceding calendar year. The entire annual report is to be filed electronically with the Iowa Utilities Board. To download the appropriate form, please visit the Annual Reports information page. To submit a completed annual report filing, for more information about filing electronically or to register for a user account, please visit the EFS home page.
New Public Service Announcement Telecommunications Access Iowa, the Iowa Utilities Board program which provides vouchers that help to pay for specialized telephone equipment for qualified individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking, has released a new advertisement and Public Service Announcement that will be aired in the coming months on local television and cable channels. To learn more or to apply for a voucher, contact Telecommunications Access Iowa.
Program to Assist Consumers who are Deaf-Blind The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program may offer solutions to consumers who cannot use communication tools such as the telephone or computer because of combined vision and hearing loss. To learn more, contact iowaCanConnect which is a statewide pilot program of the Iowa Utilities Board and the Iowa Department for the Blind, which is administered together with Telecommunications Access Iowa, the Iowa Equipment Distribution Program.
Iowa Seeks to Help Address Dropped Calls in Nation’s Rural Areas The Iowa Utilities Board continues to be actively engaged in discussions with other states as well as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help resolve ongoing telephone call termination issues. The FCC recently released its rural call completion order (FCC 13-135) and the Board continues to actively monitor this ongoing docket.
Iowa Utilities Board-Office of Consumer Advocate LEED® Platinum Building In 2013, the Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate building received LEED® Platinum status. The model energy-efficient building houses more than 90 employees of the two agencies. The facility was designed to consume 63 percent less energy than a typical office building of similar size that is compliant with the Iowa Energy Code. For more information, please visit the IUB Building Informational page.