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 which 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 refused to provide electric service to rural areas. These pioneering men and women borrowed start-up money from the Federal Rural Electrification Administration, which was created in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Rural electric cooperatives offer more than reliable, affordable electric service; they also work to improve quality of life by empowering the communities they serve. The cooperative-supported Iowa Area Development Group helps bring new industry and new jobs to rural Iowa, encouraging economic development.
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 service organization formed in 1942.
Iowa's electric cooperatives are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and affordable.
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 services to help restore power quickly and safely during emergencies
- review of utility regulations
- Living with Energy in Iowa, a monthly magazine specifically for co-op member-owners
Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents 35 distribution cooperatives in Iowa and six generation and transmission cooperatives. The electric cooperatives of Iowa provide electricity to approximately 650,000 Iowans in each of the state's 99 counties.