|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.
For your information . . .
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 in Docket No. HLP-2014-0001. For details about public informational meetings to be held in each involved county, please visit the HLP-2014-0001 informational page. Anyone seeking to file objections and letters of support in this docket may do so by using the Iowa Utilities Board’s Electronic Filing System, citing the docket number, and clicking on the “Submit Filing” tab for instructions. Written objections mailed to the Iowa Utilities Board, Executive Secretary, Docket No. HLP-2014-0001, 1375 E. Court Ave., Rm 69, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0069 will also be accepted. Persons should consider attending an informational meeting before filing an objection, as it may provide more information in areas of interest or concern.
Rock Island Clean Line LLC is proposing to build a high-voltage direct current transmission line across Iowa. On November 6, 2014, Rock Island Clean Line filed petitions for electric transmission franchise in 16 Iowa counties in Docket Nos. E-22123 through E-22138. Anyone seeking to file objections and letters of support in these dockets may do so by using the Iowa Utilities Board’s Electronic Filing System, citing the docket number(s), and clicking on the “Submit Filing” tab for instructions. Additional information about the franchise process is explained on the Electric Transmission Line Franchise Process page. NOTE: Board Member Sheila K. Tipton was previously 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 Tipton has severed all ties with her former law firm, which no longer represents Rock Island Clean Line, LLC, and pursuant to the applicable rules of ethics, Ms.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 Files Comments on EPA Proposed Clean Power Plan 111(d) Rules On November 12, 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa Economic Development Authority filed a joint letter to the Environmental Protection Agency with comments regarding the EPA’s June 2, 2014, Clean Power Plan proposal. The EPA’s 111(d) rule will require utilities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their existing power plants. The Board is participating in a stakeholder process to develop Iowa’s response to the rules once they become final. Meetings of Iowa’s collaborative process were held on July 22 and September 19, 2014, and will continue in 2015. The Board provided initial comments to the EPA in a December 2013 letter. For more information, review the IDNR’s Carbon Pollution Standards web page for details about Iowa’s collaborative process, or visit the EPA’s web site.
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 Began Nov. 1 Iowa’s annual winter disconnection moratorium for qualified Iowa households began 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.
Iowa Utilities Board 2013 Annual Report Updated The Iowa Utilities Board 2013 Annual Report has been updated to include 2013 fiscal year financial and budget information. It is now available for viewing or download as are previous years’ Iowa Utilities Board Annual Reports.
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 email@example.com 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.
Board 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.
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.
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.