IPL contends all of the environmental groups’ proposals would increase its cost to more than $1 billion.
Mandelbaum said that figure is inflated.
Testimony by witnesses for the environmental groups also have suggested MidAmerican should double its energy efficiency budget. Further details are to come as they proceed with the company’s case before the utilities board.
A hearing on MidAmerican’s plan is scheduled for Aug. 28 with all documents to be filed before Sept. 18.
“The company currently offers a variety of programs designed to put the power of energy efficiency in the hands of its residential and business customers,” spokeswoman Abby Bottenfield said in a statement. “If approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, the new plan would bring additional programs and opportunities for MidAmerican Energy customers to save on their bills and reduce their overall demand for energy.”
While the environmental groups pressure utilities to do more, large energy users such as John Deere & Co. also are pushing to keep costs down.
“You have these two diametrically opposed groups, one who wants us to force customers to pay a lot of money up front for environmental benefits and reduced energy use and another group which says we don’t want to be forced to pay all that extra money,” Foss said. “We try and work with everybody who has stake in this and we try to come up with a plan that comes to a balance.”
The Iowa Utility Board’s decision on the efficiency plans for the companies is expected by the end of the year.