Our nation's electric energy cooperatives have a strong commitment to the environment and air quality. Electric cooperatives are the primary energy supplier for people living in environmentally rich areas, including the abundant fields of the nation's heartland. We take pride in the areas we call home and strive to maintain the integrity of the land's most precious resources.
Iowa's electric co-ops believe that the nation's energy and environmental policies must balance the needs of individuals, the environment and the communities in which we live. As co-ops, our primary goal is to serve our member-owners in a responsible manner. We take this responsibility seriously, and pride ourselves on offering our member-consumers a variety of options for their energy services. In doing so, we strike a critical balance of offering high-quality, reliable service while working to protect the environment.
When it comes to working together to protect the environment, you can count on Iowa's cooperatives to operate in a responsible manner today and in the future. Some our key initiatives include:
- Co-ops and their members are good community neighbors and comply with environmental rules and regulations while ensuring reliable service exists for current and future generations. Rural electric cooperatives and their consumers advocate for a cleaner environment, cleaner air quality and cost-effective, reliable electricity. Electric cooperatives believe these objectives can be met without sacrificing consumers' needs and demands for electricity with higher degrees of reliability.
- Co-ops are committed to energy efficiency programs. Iowa's rural electric cooperatives believe the efficient use of energy is positive for utility providers, member-consumers and the environment. That's why these programs have become an integral part of our business. The cooperatives have initiated programs that encourage the efficient use of the member's resources, the cooperative's resources and our nation's natural resources. Information and demonstrations on the efficient use of energy are provided to the members through newsletters, bill stuffers, Living with Energy in Iowa News magazine, annual meetings, member appreciation days, local fairs and other public events.
- Co-ops advocate state and national policies that bring common sense to balancing the environmental and economical needs of our communities. Electric cooperatives have a strong commitment to the environment and air quality. Long-range, consistent and common-sense environmental policies can achieve the objective of ensuring clean air for this nation without imposing economic penalties on electric cooperative consumers.
- Co-ops are investing a significant amount of money in new technologies to contribute to a cleaner environment. Electric cooperatives realize that electric generation has environmental impacts. Rural electric cooperatives want to be part of the solution and are investing significant capital to developing new technologies to keep the environment clean, safe, and sustainable for current and future generations. Several Iowa cooperatives use hydropower and have added wind energy to their diversified portfolio mix and are exploring options such as fuel cells and microturbines.
Regulatory Compliance Group (formerly the Iowa Environmental Group) - Providing Environmental and Worker Safety Services
The Regulatory Compliance Group is a state-wide consortium of rural electric cooperatives formed in 1990 by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative. The Regulatory Compliance Group was created primarily for the purpose of providing environmental and worker safety services to member cooperatives to assist them in maintaining compliance with state and federal environmental and worker safety laws. Together with the law firm of Sullivan & Ward, P.C., which is responsible for coordinating and managing the activities of the Regulatory Compliance Group, the Safety and Loss Department of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperativesand the safety and environmental coordinators of Corn Belt, Central Iowa Power Cooperative and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative, identify regulatory requirements applicable to the operations of rural electric cooperatives and develop programs, policies, and provide the training necessary to comply with these requirements. The RCG is currently staffed by Mark Landa of Sullivan & Ward, P.C.
National Energy Policy - Balancing Traditional Sources with Renewable Sources
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives believes an effective energy strategy will balance traditional power sources with efficient, renewable and environmentally friendly sources such as fuel cells and wind power. Wind power can be part of the solution, although not the only solution. An energy policy relying too heavily on one renewable source - or any single source - could jeopardize the energy reliability rural electric cooperative consumers enjoy and expect. The biggest challenges with utilizing wind energy include lack of wind during peak energy usage times, such as hot summer days, and the cost to build the facilities. There are benefits to harnessing wind energy; however, we must remain aware of its limitations as well.
Learn about the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association environmental perspective.