For more information about Iowa's electric cooperatives or the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, contact Erin Campbell, IAEC Director of Communications.
Power to the People:
- The not-for-profit electric co-ops of Iowa provide reliable, safe, affordable and sustainable electricity to over 650,000 people throughout all 99 counties every day.
- Electric cooperatives are owned by the members they serve, making co-ops truly democratic organizations with local governance.
- Electric cooperatives are guided by a board of elected directors who must be member-owners of the co-op.
- Iowa's electric co-ops maintain enough power lines to wrap around the equator 2.5 times.
- One of the most-read magazines in Iowa, IAEC's statewide consumer publication - Living with Energy in Iowa - is mailed to more than 57,000 co-op households every month.
Out of the Darkness:
Not-for-profit electric cooperatives were formed in the 1930s and 1940s as a way for rural citizens to gain access to affordable electricity.
Before rural electric cooperatives were formed, only 10% of rural citizens in America had electricity while 90% of city dwellers had electricity.
- While the cost of most things (cars, houses eggs, milk, stamps, gas ,etc.) has increased twentyfold or more over the past 75 years, electricity has remained very affordable. The average cost per kilowatt-hour has only doubled since the 1930s.
- The average co-op household in Iowa pays about $5 a day for safe, reliable electricity. That's cheaper than a drink at Starbucks!
Doing More with Less:
- Iowa's electric co-ops provide power to about 15% of the state's population yet cover approximately 80% of the state's land mass.
- Not-for-profit electric co-ops generate far less revenue per mile of line compared to investor-owned utilities and municipalities.
- The electric co-ops of Iowa serve primarily rural areas with sparse populations. Investor-owned utilities in Iowa serve 27 meters and generate $72,600 of revenue per mile of line on average, while co-ops serve about 4 meters and generate $10,700 of revenue per mile of line on average. Iowa municipalities average 54 meters per mile and generate $129,000 of revenue per mile of line.
- Over the past five years, Iowa’s electric co-ops have kept the lights on 99.97% of the time, despite blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes or other extreme weather events.
- The average electric co-op member-owner experiences one outage per year, lasting about 112 minutes.
- In Iowa, more than 850 electric co-op members have interconnected their privately owned wind or solar generation to the grid.
- Since 2008, Iowa’s electric co-ops have invested more than $120 million in energy efficiency measures, saving at least 6 billion kilowatt-hours. That’s enough kilowatt-hours to power more than 600,000 homes for a full year!
- Iowa electric co-ops support renewable energy and have invested in 33 wind farms, 4 landfill gas projects, 5 methane digesters and multiple hydro-electric stations.
Empowering Rural Communities:
- Over the past 50+ years, Iowa's electric co-ops have sent more than 2,500 high school students to Washington, D.C., for the annual Youth Tour leadership program.
- Through our affiliation with Iowa Area Development Group, Iowa's electric co-ops have assisted more than 2,000 companies in investing more than $10 billion in new locations and expansions over the past 30 years.
- Iowa's electric cooperatives have helped create or retain more than 50,000 jobs in rural Iowa.
- Each year, Iowa's not-for-profit electric co-ops pay $14 million in property taxes.
- $299 million in equity has been returned to Iowa electric co-op member-owners in the form of retired capital credits/patronage capital.
- The electric co-ops of Iowa directly employ more than 1,200 people.