'The Power of Local Priorities: Energy Efficiency and Community Solar'

Erin Buchanan featured speaker of Decorah Power's Learning Series Nov. 2

Erin Buchanan, Energy Services Coordinator at Cedar Falls Utilities, will present "The Power of Local Priorities: Energy Efficiency and Community Solar," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in Valders Hall of Science Room 369, on the Luther campus.

Buchanan will also present at a noon brown bag lunch at Decorah City Hall on Nov. 2. Both presentations are a part of the Decorah Power Fall Learning Series and are open to the public with no charge for admission.

With the support of the Decorah City Council, local citizens group Decorah Power is conducting a feasibility study with privately raised funds to explore the creation of a Municipal Electric Utility in Decorah. The MEU would be a locally owned, city utility providing electricity services in the same way it provides water and sewer services. According to Decorah Power, there are 2,011 municipal electric utilities in the U.S., 136 of which are in Iowa. Iowa also has 44 rural electric cooperatives. 

The Decorah Power Learning Series is designed to educate the community on the opportunities and challenges in creating a Municipal Electric Utility in Decorah. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Luther College has pledged $15,000 toward the study.

For more information about Decorah Power and the other Decorah Power Fall Learning Series events, visit www.decorahpower.org.

Erin Buchanan

Cedar Falls Utility is an example of a locally-owned utility providing water, electricity, high-speed internet and cable television. It has one of the lowest utility rates in the state. In her role as energy services coordinator for CFU, Buchanan provides customers with ways to reduce their energy usage. She works with customers interested in using wind-generated electricity, utilizing the community-owned solar garden or installing their own wind or solar systems.

For her work, Buchanan has been recognized as a "rising star in public power" by the American Public Power Association in 2011. In 2016, Midwest Energy News named Buchanan as one of two Iowans on the 40 Under 40 list of "emerging leaders working on America's transition to a clean energy economy."

Buchanan earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematical decision sciences from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in statistics from Iowa State University.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.