All utility service providers are not created equal, at least when it comes to how they handle billing for privately-owned renewable energy generation and service upgrades.

Rates and policies for investor-owned utilities, like MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, are governed by the Iowa Utilities Board, while Rural Electric Co­­operatives (RECs) and municipal utilities are governed by local boards or city councils. That can lead to differences in billing policies for customers who install wind turbines or solar panels to generate renewable electricity, Iowa Utilities Board general counsel David Lynch explained last week at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Policy Information Conference in West Des Moines.