The University of Iowa

Rethinking Energy in Johnson county

Solar Panels on Farm
Academic Year 
2019-2020
College/Department 
Planning & Public Affairs
Project Partner 

Students in the School of Planning & Public Affairs course Environmental Management and Policy conducted a study for the Johnson Clean Energy District regarding energy efficiency improvements and renewable investment possibilities in Johnson County.

Clean Energy Districts, such as the Johnson County Clean Energy District (JCED), are independent, voluntary, nonprofit structures aimed at empowering people to provide their own power locally through reduced energy, fortifying local economies by creating jobs and decreasing utilities used. This project provides concrete policy, finance, and technology guidance for energy efficiency improvements and renewable investment possibilities for the JCED. Johnson County is a unique and diverse region in Iowa, with urban population centers and open rural landscapes. The recommendations have been developed in collaboration with faculty at the University of Iowa, industry professionals, and community members.

The report describes relevant energy related issues and trends, propose specific goals and objectives, and set the policy context by identifying regulations and describing federal, state and local policies and programs. We conclude each section with best management practices, identifying and drawing lessons from plans that effectively address the issues and provide alternative approaches, policy, and management strategies.