Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

Economic Impact

Iowa's electric cooperatives are leaders in rural economic development. We promote value-added agricultural enterprises, new venture start-ups, business attraction and the expansion of existing business and industry.

In 2010, the IAEC conducted a third economic impact study that revealed at a time when other businesses in Iowa were retrenching and reducing their payrolls, the state’s electric cooperatives were showing significant signs of growth in both investment and income.

For example, the payrolls, purchases and deliveries of services by electric cooperatives resulted in a $1.2 billion impact throughout the state’s economy. Compared to previous studies, that’s a 48% increase since 2006 and a 95% increase compared to 2003.

IAEC commissioned the first Economic Impact Study in 2003 and the second in 2006 to measure the economic influence of the state’s electric cooperatives on the lives and well being of rural Iowans. All three editions of the study were produced by Strategic Economics Group, which is headed by Harvey Siegelman, former state economist of Iowa.
Highlights from the study:
  • With news reports continuing to focus on job losses and jobless benefits, Iowa’s electric cooperatives have a different story to tell. They helped create and retain nearly 8,000 jobs during 2009, more than two-thirds of which were outside the utility industry. 
  • Since 1989, Iowa’s electric cooperatives have invested a total of almost $98 million in loans and grants, resulting in the completion of local projects – such as spec buildings, parks, factories, clinics and hospitals – worth $928 million.
  • Iowa’s electric cooperatives contributed more than $10 million to community programs during 2009. Co-ops were the local investors that provided a helping hand for projects ranging from creating scholarships and supporting schools to promoting tourism and building industrial parks.

Financial Assistance

Each electric cooperative in Iowa offers a unique portfolio of financial assistance through donations, access to grants and loans to help improve the quality of life in rural Iowa. This financial assistance contributes to long-term improvements in the local economy. It's the personal and business relationships that drive electric cooperatives. These low interest loans assist with local economic and community development projects such as:

  • Job creation and retention 
  • Diversification of the local economy 
  • Improving the skills of the rural workforce 
  • Upgrading the public infrastructure to improve health, safety and/or medical care to rural residents

Please contact your local cooperative for more information. Find a list of Iowa's electric cooperatives on our site.

Iowa Area Development Group

The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) was created in 1985 and is the economic development office for most of the state's electric cooperatives. Since 1985, IADG and the state's rural utilities have worked on more than 1,600 projects, attracting $5.6 billion in capital investment -- and creating and retaining more than 40,000 jobs. IADG offers a wide variety of economic development services, including site selection, financial packaging, permitting assistance and informational databases.

The cooperatives in the northeast corner of Iowa get economic development support from Dairyland Power Cooperative.

We are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable & environmentally responsible power to 650,000 Iowans.

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