FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
CONTACT: Tim Coonan, (515) 991-3916
Iowa’s Electric Cooperatives Promote Sustainable Energy Solutions
Cooperative programs demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility
DES MOINES, Iowa – For decades, Iowa’s electric cooperatives have been engaged in business practices that support and encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solutions. Iowa’s electric cooperatives applaud Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie and the City of Des Moines for hosting President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience yesterday.
“Iowa’s electric cooperatives have a significant role in proactively seeking and engaging in common-sense solutions that support a cleaner and renewable power future, and our measurable efforts demonstrate it’s a responsibility we take seriously,” said Marion Denger, president of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.
“As an energy provider serving customers in all of Iowa’s 99 counties, electric cooperatives and our member-owners are making multimillion-dollar investments in diverse and balanced energy solutions to ensure affordable and reliable power is available for the next generation.”
Currently, Iowa’s electric cooperatives are investing more than $18 million annually in energy efficiency programs and services, which are a fundamental cornerstone of environmental responsibility. In addition, electric cooperatives boast a diverse portfolio of generation assets, including renewable and emissions-free supply from wind, solar, hydro, biomass, landfill gas and nuclear.
“Beyond creating a generation portfolio that is sustainable and supports a long-term commitment to the environment, we're empowering our consumers to invest in renewable energy systems. More than 400 consumer-owned, distributed generation systems that are powered from renewable resources have interconnected to Iowa’s cooperative power grid,” Denger said.
In addition, Iowa electric cooperatives are integrating innovative technologies, such as solar gardens, for their member-owners to invest in and share in the co-op’s overall commitment to being excellent stewards of the environment. Projects such as a new $3.2 million landfill gas-to-energy system further demonstrate the cooperative’s approach to collaborative solutions. This project, developed in partnership with a city and county waste management agency, has clear environmental benefits as it greatly reduces most of the harmful gas emissions that are created when methane is released directly into the atmosphere.
Electric cooperatives actively use technology, such as automated meter reading, to reduce their overall environmental footprint by using less transportation fuel. With customers spread out over Iowa’s expansive geographic area, collecting individual readings would mean driving the equivalent of 2.5 times around the earth every month.
“Working toward a sustainable environment is a 24/7, 365 days-a-year commitment. We are committed to achieving long-term balanced energy solutions that protect the environment and our consumers,” Denger added.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents 34 distribution cooperatives in Iowa and six generation and transmission cooperatives providing electricity to approximately 650,000 Iowans in each of the state’s 99 counties. Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives are part of a national network of 1,000 electric cooperatives. These utilities, which serve 25 million Americans in 46 states, work together through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a Washington, D.C.-based service organization formed in 1942. More information about Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives is available at www.iowarec.org.