You are on page 1of 4

Claudio Ordonez

English 150-Section TK
Assignment #3
How the Iowa Energy Center Affects the Community
Are you a member of one of at least five student organizations that focus in nature
conservation, and energy efficiency? Have you ever wanted to do more for your environment? In
Iowa there is a unique organization called the Iowa Energy Center which is based in and works
for Iowa only. The unique thing about this energy-focused organization, in comparison to others,
is the research that they do and their top-of-the-line facilities. As students, there is often a certain
amount of uselessness that we feel, since many of us aren’t geniuses, nor have we learned the
skills to make an actual change, but with the help of the Iowa Energy Center, we are able to
make a difference in our community.
Created in 1990, the IEC’s purpose was to serve Iowan researchers, engineers, students,
and others by providing resources and materials for facilities which create alternative energy.
These facilities can range from simple households to actual energy production manufacturing
plants. The IEC has its main office in Ames, and also is run by Iowa State University. Iowa
State’s president, Steven Leath, is who decides who the next director becomes, and all of the
employees are also professors at Iowa State, so you may have class with one of them someday.
The research facilities are rather close, only about twenty to thirty minutes away from Ames. The
two research facilities were created relatively close in time to one another, with the ERS made
when it was brought into law, and the other, BECON, at 1999.(Iowa Energy Center)

They are committed to more efficient energy production and management, as well as
better education towards that goal. As stated on its website, the IEC said that it would “…
cooperate with the state board of education in developing a curriculum which promotes energy
efficiency and conservation.” This means that the IEC is responsible for many of the special
guests that are brought for a mostly younger audience, which may talk about how they can save
more energy in their house.
There is a lot of information is available on their website, which would be useful to
mostly general public, but many of the exact details are omitted. The IEC provides other
information on their website through an online database, which was aptly named the grant and
research library. Here, they mostly provide information on previous loans, grants, and
scholarships that they have given to previous recipients. Though this information may seem like
only a receipt or bookkeeping of previous clients, it could be beneficial to people who are
looking to see what types of clients and research that the organization takes, which to mostly
consist of local homeowners and small businesses.
The Iowa Energy Center doesn’t just provide the funds for resources in energy-research
products. The organization will also do research in energy conversion and they will do tests on
products that specialize in energy-efficiency. The main research facility is called BECON,
located in Nevada, Iowa, is an energy conversion facility for making chemicals from living
structures. BECON has researchers from other universities, colleges, and privately owned
companies, which will work together and give one another information on the research they have
collected. BECON doesn’t only serve people from Iowa, as nearly 14,000 people from over 70
countries have visited it since its creation. So they have plenty of respect and a good reputation

for the research they have collected, which could be useful for students interested in energy or
just energy conservation in general.
The other facility that they have is the Energy Resource Station (ERS), which focuses on
testing of heating and air conditioning systems within commercial buildings. Though this may
not sound too interesting, the ERS is one of the best facilities in the nation, with some the best
systems and technology. The ERS also serves as a training and seminar facility which focus on
energy efficiency. This facility will sometimes actually have a paid internship available for
various majors, the prerequisite being that you have some knowledge of energy transfer. So this
could be a good research opportunity for those interested in engineering and the sciences during
their junior or senior year of college.
You can help your environment in a number of ways, which the IEC helps out, by
providing information on ways you can save energy. The IEC has information on their website
that will give you calculations over how much energy you can save by using solar or wind
energy. They also provide how you can reduce the energy that you waste, which can help in both
cutting costs, and prolong the life of your home. A loan program might be useful for those
interested in creating a system for creating renewable energy. Some of these loans can cover up
to fifty percent of a project’s assets with a maximum of one-million dollars, all at zero percent
Basically, what I am saying, is that the IEC does help the Iowan community and
environment. Today, this will be more useful since we have become a more environmentally
aware society, so they can help out with most of your questions on trying to be more energy
efficient. They also can help out with funding, by grants, loans, or by scholarships. Finally if

there are any questions or if you simply want to learn about the research they do, they are able to
give tours of whichever system you want to learn more about.

Works Cited
The Iowa Energy Center. Flying Hippo, 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.