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Iowa utilities offer energy efficiency proposals

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Environmental groups are challenging the energy conservation plans of Iowa's largest gas and electricity providers, saying Interstate Power and Light and MidAmerican Energy aren't doing as much as they could to help consumers use less electricity.

Iowa law requires gas and electricity utility companies regulated by the state to draft new energy efficiency plans every five years. The five-year plan submitted by IPL, a division of Alliant Energy, calls for spending $399 million and saving 814,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That's the amount used by everyone in the city of Dubuque last year.

MidAmerican spends $512 million to save 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center says the utilities should spend much more on programs that curtail energy use because it's far more cost-effective than building new power plants.

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