On August 13, 2014, at the request of the Bloomfield City Council, the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) presented Bloomfield residents with the results of a study IAMU conducted as part of an Energy Independent Community Grant funded in part by from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).
The study found that the least cost strategy for lowering customer bills is to invest in energy efficiency. Over a ten year period, energy efficiency programs could reduce kWh consumption by 23 percent. The study found that significant savings can be achieved by reducing peak demand through installation of a system that intermittently interrupts air conditioner compressors and water heaters during the hours of peak demand. Dual-fueled generators at the utility power plant were also assumed to operate to maintain a target peak demand.
Three renewable energy scenarios were also evaluated in combination with energy efficiency and peak load reductions. The first scenario assumes that the city would purchase solar energy from roof-top, community, and commercial solar arrays of solar power installed over the study’s 15-year implementation timeframe. By the 15th year, the study found that Bloomfield could meet half of its electrical needs through efficiency measures and solar energy ultimately lowering customer bills. The other scenarios assume that additional solar and wind renewable energy sources are purchased to meet 75% and 100% of Bloomfield’s energy needs respectively by year 15.
The city council will be considering the report in upcoming meetings. Given the expiration of Bloomfield’s current power supply agreement the study provides Bloomfield the opportunity to consider more options for future power supply.
The study was conducted by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) and utility consultant Tom Wind. A summary of the study is available from the city of Bloomfield and on the IAMU website www.iamu.org.