Chicago, Illinois [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Governors of Iowa and Wisconsin made good on their commitment to the Midwest Natural Gas Initiative by developing develop a multi-state energy efficiency initiative to decrease natural gas consumption by 1 percent per year for five years. This could reduce natural gas prices by up to 13 percent, saving consumers millions while protecting jobs so vital to the region.In mid-March, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed Senate Bill 459, to decrease the state’s consumption of natural gas and electricity by bolstering its energy efficiency programs and increasing the use of renewable energy. The bill’s highlights include provisions that require the purchase of equipment for state buildings that have earned Energy Star or equivalent high-efficiency standards, the state to upgrade the Commercial Building Code to current International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standards, and utilities to collect and contribute 1.2 percent of their annual gross revenues to Focus on Energy, a public-private partnership that encourages energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout Wisconsin. The bill also prevents the funds intended for Focus on Energy from being diverted to uses other than strengthening energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. In Iowa, a state that has made substantial investments in energy efficiency by its major natural gas and electric utilities over the last 15 years, the state’s Utilities Board ordered an inquiry to gauge the effects that increased utility energy-efficiency programs would have on utility revenues and how to mitigate those effects.