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Iowa Energy Center

Home Series


For more than a decade, the Iowa Energy Center has been publishing informational guides covering everything from home heating and cooling to solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays. These guides are collectively known as the Home Series and were a collaborative effort from rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, government organizations, nonprofits and the Iowa Energy Center.

Click on the titles below for downloadable PDFs of each of the guides. To request a copy be mailed to you, contact the Iowa Energy Center or your local energy provider.

Click here to view an animation that walks you through the first four books of the series.

Home Tightening, Insulation and Ventilation

The average Iowa family spends more than half of its annual household energy bill on heating and cooling. That’s a significant number, but you can dramatically reduce these costs by making some simple energy-saving weatherization and insulation improvements to your home.

Home Heating and Cooling

In a typical home, nearly half of all energy use is devoted to heating and cooling. This can be especially true in Iowa, known for its seasonal temperature extremes. Unfortunately, some of that money may be wasted due to leaky ceilings, walls and foundations; inadequate insulation; and inefficient or improperly maintained equipment.

Water Heating

Although there are many ways to cut your water heating bills, they all fall into two broad categories: reducing the amount of hot water you use and making your water heating system more efficient. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you consume less energy and save money while still meeting your water heating needs.

Major Home Appliances

Is it time to buy a new appliance? If you haven’t been in the market for new appliances recently, you’re going to be surprised at how innovative and energy-efficient appliances have become. You’ll find energy-smart appliance choices in almost all price ranges.

Solar PV Energy Guide

Solar PV technology is the process that converts sunlight into electrical current when it strikes suitable materials called semiconductors in a device. Solar cell technologies have evolved over time, and new technologies are constantly emerging. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each type of solar cell will help to ensure that you consider the appropriate technology for a potential installation.