More power grabs from utility companies are on the way

Iowa’s two largest, for-profit, monopoly energy utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, are at it again.  

There are already two greedy utility power-grab proposals in the works at the Iowa Statehouse.

The first:
Senate Study Bill 1036 (SSB 1036)

This bill aims to undermine the independence and expertise of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA are the people’s lawyers. They work to represent us – Iowa utility customers – on utility costs and provide oversight on Iowa’s monopoly utilities. 

Utilities don’t like OCA’s oversight power – or any oversight, really – as it can get in the way of their policy attempts to line their already deep profit pockets.

I encourage you to give Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of SSB 1036 a read: Key GOP lawmaker seeking to gut Iowa’s consumer advocate.

In the works: We’ve heard from the for-profit utility giants are looking to gut Iowa’s net metering program.


Net metering is a good policy that credits independent solar and wind energy producers for surplus energy they put back on to the grid. Net metering is an essential policy to make locally-owned renewable energy more economically viable. 

If the legislature and our utilities gut net metering in Iowa, locally-owned renewable energy will be even more difficult to achieve. And, we know this is a key to building a safer climate future for us and future generations.

Why don’t utilities like it when customers generate their own renewable energy? Because it means fewer people buying their energy, thus reducing the sales and the profits of these utilities. 

These companies are ruthless!

Last year, they fought hard to pass SF 2311, the bill that slashed popular energy efficiency programs, cut public oversight, threatens 20,000 green energy jobs and legalized eminent domain for natural gas pipelines. All for the sake of more profits for their shareholders. 

And, they aren’t hurting for profits. Don’t forget: they are guaranteed an 11% annual profit. In 2015 and 2016 MidAmerican’s profits totaled over $1 BILLION paid for by their ratepayers. 

We’ll let you know if either of these utility power-grab proposals start to move and key ways you can make your voice heard. 

For now, drop me a line via email at with your thoughts:

  • What do you think you think of these two proposed utility power grabs? 
  • Do you have utilize your own solar panels or do you participate in the net metering program? Let me know how the attack on net metering will impact you.  

For 100% renewable energy that benefits 100% of the people,

Matt Ohloff
Climate Justice organizer

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