Environmental Groups Critical of New Alliant Energy Efficiency Plan

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa - Alliant Energy says its new energy efficiency plan will save customers money but environmental groups say it comes at a cost to the environment.

The Iowa Utilities Board approved an updated five-year energy efficiency plan for Alliant Energy on Monday. It takes effect January 1, 2014.

Under the plan, Alliant Energy will spend more than $400 million dollars on 25 energy efficiency programs. It says that is similar to current spending on those programs.

“We have been helping customers increase energy efficiency for decades. It’s the right thing to do for the environment and our customers,” said Tom Aller, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility company.

But environmental groups say the new plan could be stronger. It claims the new plan only spends 1.1% of Alliant Energy's retail sales on efficiency. The current plan spends about 1.3% of sales. The Environmental law and Policy Center argues alliant could be doing more to cut energy use and reduce the need for more power plants.

Alliant Energy says increasing energy efficiency requirements would have cost customers as much as a billion dollars on their energy bills.

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