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The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives is the Des Moines-based service organization representing the state's rural electric cooperatives. The cooperatives distinguish themselves through the seven cooperative principles. These principles serve as the guiding business philosophies for cooperatives across the country.

Iowa's farmers began forming rural electric cooperatives in the 1930s when large electric companies bypassed rural Iowa due to the sparse population. These pioneering men and women borrowed start-up money from the Federal Rural Electrification Administration, which was created May 11, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Rural electric cooperatives offer more than reliable electric service. They also work to improve rural living. The cooperative-supported Iowa Area Development Group helps bring new industry and new jobs to rural Iowa. Many rural electric cooperatives offer state-of-the-art satellite television equipment and programs to rural homes outside the reach of cable TV companies. Others lease emergency pagers, ideal for elderly people. Still others are involved in unique programs to improve rural housing or help home buyers with low-interest loans.

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.


Iowa's electric cooperatives are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and affordable.

What IAEC Does

Formed by the rural electric cooperatives in 1942, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives performs many vital functions for its members, including:

  • legislative representation at the state and national levels,
  • safety programs, demonstrations and campaigns,
  • programs encouraging the wider and wiser use of electricity and efficient electric appliances and equipment,
  • education and training programs,
  • communication resources and services,
  • youth activities,
  • a statewide disaster plan to help restore power quickly and safely during emergencies,
  • review of utility regulations, and
  • the award-winning Living with Energy in Iowa, a monthly magazine specifically for rural Iowans.

Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents 35 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 Association of Electric Cooperatives
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