Great Moments in Energy Efficiency

They say that winners write the history books, and well—maybe that’s true. After all, when we see our members saving money while making energy efficiency improvements to their homes, that looks an awful lot like winning to us. So we thought it would be fun to write a little history of our own.

Because the truth is that many of the energy efficiency technologies we enjoy today have long histories of their own. Here are just a few of the milestones that brought us to where we are today.

Boise, Idaho, is the site of the first successful commercial greenhouse use of geothermal energy, using a well drilled in 1926 as the downhole heat exchanger.

In 1932, Dale Kleist accidentally creates fiberglass while attempting to create a vacuum seal between glass blocks. Shortly thereafter, Kleist and fellow researchers Games Slayter and John Thomas develop a method to mass produce the new invention, and fiberglass insulation is born.

The first practical light-emitting diode (LED) is invented by scientist Nick Holonyak. This technology will evolve and adapt to eventually become one of the most energy efficient options for home and commercial lighting.

The first blower door testing is developed as a research tool to measure air flow through buildings and homes. The test uses a powerful fan that’s temporarily set up in a doorway, blowing air through the structure in order to reveal air leaks that might otherwise stay hidden.


Home energy audits surge in popularity due to the Energy Crisis. As these audits become more commonplace, homeowners become more conscious of ways to make their homes more energy efficient.

The Environmental Protection Agency introduces the Green Lights Program, created so that commercial and industrial buildings will be more likely to use efficient lighting systems.

The first ENERGY STAR® qualified line of products, which includes personal computers and monitors, is introduced to the market. Over the next decades, the ENERGY STAR program will lead to gains in energy efficiency in consumer products, food and industrial manufacturing, commercial and residential spaces, and more.

The Department of Energy promotes geothermal energy use through the creation of two industry/government collaborations. The DOE will continue to fund research and development into geothermal technology for years to come.

Wabash Valley Power launches its Energy Advisor program. Each co-op names their own advisor to provide expertise and guidance to members who would like to learn more about efficiency and energy savings.

The Energy Policy Act establishes new energy efficiency standards for 16 products, and sets the stage for continued improvements in consumer technology.


The EPA awards an ENERGY STAR designation to qualifying food processing plants for the first time in its history.

The POWER MOVES® program is re-energized with a full suite of energy efficiency rebate offerings for members.

The POWER MOVES program hits an all-time high in 2016 with 25,000 residential members and 250 businesses receiving a rebate in a single year, effectively doubling the program.

What’s Next?
With POWER MOVES, your energy efficiency future is bright. We are making strides in providing rebates and incentives for the installation of higher efficiency appliances and electronics in homes, businesses, schools and on farms, as well as supporting improvements in building standards via our Touchstone Energy® Home program. Learn more online, or contact your Energy Advisor today.