Consumer Information Energy Telecommunications
Elizabeth S. Jacobs
Chair
Nick Wagner
Board Member
Sheila K. Tipton
Board Member

Welcome to the Iowa Utilities Board

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. Watch the IUB live video streamFollow us on Twitter!

Proposed Crude Oil Pipeline Docket Open Dakota Access, LLC, an Energy Transfer Company, has made its initial filing with the Iowa Utilities Board regarding a proposal to build a crude oil pipeline across Iowa (the Dakota Access Pipeline, a.k.a. Bakken Pipeline). The filing has been assigned to Docket No. HLP-2014-0001, which opens the official record with the Board. The Board can now begin receiving comments in support of or objections to the project.  However, it is suggested that persons consider attending an informational meeting before filing an objection, as it may provide more information in areas of interest or concern.  At this time there is not yet a petition for pipeline permit before the Board. That cannot be filed until at least 30 days after public informational meetings are held in each involved county. Those meetings are scheduled for December 2014, with make-up dates in January 2015 if needed.  Please review the informational meeting schedule. The informational meetings are to inform landowners and other interested members of the public. Evidence is not taken, and comments are not received into the record at these meetings. The merits of the project will be the subject of a public hearing to be scheduled after a petition for permit is filed and reviewed by the Board. For more information, see the hazardous liquid pipelines process or visit the Board’s Pipeline Permits information page.

Iowa Utilities Board to Host November 20 Public Outreach Event On November 20, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board is inviting the public to join Board staff at a community event to answer questions about the Board’s role with utility companies and utility customers, as well as discuss specific Board programs and services.  The event will be from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Cedar Falls Community Center and Library, 528 Main Street, Cedar Falls. The Board is partnering with local utility companies, community and non-profit agencies, and safety and law enforcement officials, who will all be providing educational material and discussing utility and safety-related information.  Representatives from each organization will be available to answer the public’s questions.  For more information contact Don Tormey at (515) 725-7347, or Jane Whetstone at (515) 725-7358.

Heating Disconnection Moratorium Begins Nov. 1 Iowa’s annual winter disconnection moratorium for qualified Iowa households begins November 1, 2014, and runs through April 1, 2015. The Iowa Utilities Board news release reminds consumers that certification for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or Home Weatherization Program protects qualified consumers from natural gas and electric utility service disconnection while helping to reduce a portion of residential heating costs. LIHEAP and Weatherization funds are limited and general applications are accepted on a first come/first served basis by Iowa’s Community Action Agencies from November 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.

Notice of Public Comment Opportunity Regarding Recommendations to the Iowa Utilities Board on Water Service Disconnection Rules On October 29, 2014, a Stakeholder Group public meeting was held in Davenport, Iowa to discuss recommendations to the Iowa Utilities Board regarding proposed rules to allow water service disconnection of Iowa American Water Company customers for failure to pay sewer, wastewater, or storm drainage service bills. Public comments are still being accepted by e-mailing to customer@iub.iowa.gov or by completing an online comment form, or by mailing to the Iowa Utilities Board, Executive Secretary, Docket No. RMU-2014-0004, 1375 E. Court Ave., Rm 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069. The Board issued an order initiating Docket No. RMU-2014-0004, which appointed Stakeholder Group members to propose rules to implement Iowa Code § 476.20(1)(b). Visit the Board’s informational page for more details.

Participants attend distibuted generation workshopBoard Notice of Inquiry on Distributed Generation On October 21, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board held a workshop with stakeholders.  A draft distributed generation checklist was attached to the Board’s September 19, 2014, order in Docket No. NOI-2014-0001 and was discussed during the workshop. On January 7, 2014, the Board initiated this inquiry to gather information related to policy and technical issues, including net metering and interconnection, associated with distributed generation.

IUB-OCA Building Honored Again  The Iowa Utilities Board-Office of Consumer Advocate Building is featured as the cover story of the October 2014 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' (ASHRAE) Journal.  In April 2014, the building became only the second project to receive an American Institute of Architects COTE Plus Award after being a 2012 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Building Award recipient. In 2013, the IUB-OCA Building also received LEED® Platinum status. For more information about the building, please visit the IUB Building Informational page and view the KJWW Engineering Consultants’ video.

Board Approves Settlement Freezing Alliant/IPL Electric Rates Through 2016 On September 24, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board issued an order approving settlement in Docket No. SPU-2005-0015, related to Alliant/Interstate Power and Light Company’s purchase power agreement with NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC. The approved settlement contains an Alliant/IPL electric base rate increase moratorium through 2016 and requires various rate credits for Alliant/IPL electric customers.

MidAmerican Files Customer Refund Report on Disbursement of Insurance Proceeds On September 11, 2014, MidAmerican Energy Company filed with the Iowa Utilities Board its revised report on the disbursement of former manufactured gas plant insurance proceeds to customers in compliance with the Board’s order of May 27, 2014. MidAmerican completed a refund total of $7,222,190.91 among 21,496 of its customers on August 8, 2014. MidAmerican has retained records of the refunds and will include remaining proceeds of $1,843,847.28 into its annual purchased gas adjustment filing for the Board’s review.

Potential Scams Involving Iowa Utility Customers The Iowa Utilities Board has received complaints regarding a variety of payment scams relating to consumers’ utility bills.  The Board reminds Iowa utility customers not to provide credit card numbers or any personal information when receiving suspicious calls, emails, or contact from persons at the door claiming to be affiliated with their utility, and who are demanding payment or threatening utility service disconnection.  Concerned customers should first contact their utility at the telephone number located on their utility bill or contact the customer service number on their utility website to confirm if any claim for payment is legitimate. If the claim is fraudulent, customers should immediately call local law enforcement officials and the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General's Office at 888-777-4590.

Board Participates in Iowa’s Response Process to EPA Proposal on CO2 Emissions from Existing Power Plants The Iowa Utilities Board is participating in a collaborative process of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for developing Iowa’s response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s June 2, 2014, Clean Power Plan proposal. The EPA’s proposed rule pertains to cutting carbon dioxide emissions stemming from existing power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030. The first meeting of Iowa’s collaborative process was held July 22, 2014, at the IDNR. In a December 2013 letter to the EPA, the Board provided initial comments regarding the EPA’s plans to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants. For more information on the proposed rule, visit the EPA’s web site, or the IDNR’s Carbon Pollution Standards web page for information about the Iowa collaborative process.

Recent Change in Iowa’s Program to Assist Consumers who are Deaf-Blind The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) in Iowa has recently been changed. As of July 1, 2014, the program is no longer administered by the Iowa Utilities Board and the Iowa Department for the Blind. Helen Keller National Center, Great Plains Regional Office in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, has been selected by the FCC as the new provider for the NDBEDP. Iowa’s program, known as iowaCanConnect, may offer solutions to consumers who cannot use communication tools such as the telephone or computer because of combined vision and hearing loss. NOTE: the program has NOT been discontinued, but during this transition there may be some delay in serving qualified Iowa applicants with equipment and training.

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. On July 31, 2014, the Board issued an order approving MidAmerican's tariff and requiring filings and on August 6, 2014, MidAmerican filed its compliance tariff for electric service.

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.

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.