Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives

Press Release

December 6, 2021

With the theme of “Partners in Progress,” the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) conducted its 2021 Annual Meeting at the Sheraton West Des Moines Conference Center on December 2 and 3 with more than 350 registered attendees. Board directors and employees from Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives received informative updates from IAEC Board President Steve Seidl (pictured) and IAEC Executive Vice President and General Manager Chuck Soderberg.

“Our theme of Partners in Progress is very fitting for 2021,” remarked Seidl, who retired from the IAEC Board in December after 15 years of service. “Iowa’s electric cooperatives know we can accomplish so much more when we work together to achieve a common goal.”

Soderberg added, “The statewide association has worked hard this year to serve, support and advocate for our member cooperatives. Much of our success is the result of collaboration and working together with key partners.”

During the business meeting portion of the annual meeting, three new directors were elected to the IAEC Board: Tony Lem of Consumers Energy was elected to represent District 2, Jim Miller of Calhoun County Electric Cooperative Association was elected to represent District 5 and Deena Moore of Southwest Iowa REC was elected to finish out the remaining year of Darrell Jensen’s term in District 4. Directors on the IAEC Board serve staggered three-year terms. The IAEC Board would like to thank retiring directors Steve Seidl of Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative, Don Shonka of East-Central Iowa REC and Darrell Jensen of Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc. for their leadership and service to Iowa’s electric cooperatives. They were presented with commemorative plaques during the business meeting in recognition of their service.

Following the Annual Meeting, the new slate of directors reorganized and announced the following officers:

  • IAEC Board President: Roger Solomonson, District 3 director from Heartland Power Cooperative
  • IAEC Board Vice President: Gordon Greimann, District 6 director from Franklin REC
  • IAEC Board Secretary/Treasurer: Kenneth VandenBerg, District 1 director from Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative
  • IAEC Board Assistant Secretary/Treasurer: Neal Heldt, District 7 director from Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
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October 5, 2021

October has been declared “Co-Op Month in Iowa” by Kim Reynolds. In the proclamation, the Governor mentions:

  • Grain and farm supply cooperatives in Iowa generate significant income, employment, and revenue and function as engines of economic growth for local communities as they operate in 700+ communities, employ 8,000+ people, serve 122,000+ member-owners, and pay over $32 million in property taxes locally; and
     
  • Rural electric and telephone cooperatives connect Iowans and have helped bring $10 billion in investment to rural economic development over the past 30 years, employ 1,500+ people, have 690,000+ member-owners, and pay more than $14 million in property taxes each year; and
  • Credit unions in Iowa, as financial cooperatives, improve the financial lives of consumers, function as engines of economic growth as they operate in all 99 counties, employ more than 4,200 people, serve 1.3 million member-owners, and contribute $1.6 billion in economic output.

 “Co-ops exist for the benefit of their members, while also serving the needs for their local communities,” said Dave Holm, Executive Director of the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives.

More than one out of every three Iowans is a member of a co-op through industries like rural electric, credit unions, rural telephone, farm credit, petroleum, retail and more. Co-ops are not-for-profit organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by their members. They exist to benefit the people who use the co-op’s services, rather than to generate profits for outside investors, and members elect their board of directors from within the membership.

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August 13, 2021

Earlier this summer, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa sponsored a new contest to highlight our cooperative commitment to community. The Shine the Light contest opened during the month of June and member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives were invited to nominate volunteers in their communities who are making a difference.

“We were very pleased with the response we received this first year,“ remarked Erin Campbell, IAEC director of communications. “This contest gave our co-op members a wonderful opportunity to show their appreciation for family, friends and neighbors who are making a positive difference in their communities.”

We received 39 nominations from across the state, highlighting the work of incredible Iowans. Three winners were selected based on their community impact.

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April 16, 2021

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was recently presented with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a lawmaker’s outstanding contribution to the progress of electric cooperatives and the public power program in the United States.

Video: Sen. Grassley receives NRECA's 2021 Distinguished Service Award

Grassley was recognized for his unwavering support for America’s electric cooperatives throughout his six decades of public service, including his hometown co-op, Butler County REC. He played a leading role in advancing key electric co-op policy priorities, including enactment in 2019 of the RURAL Act, which saved co-ops from losing their tax-exempt status if they received government grants surpassing 15% of their non-member income. This legislation saved electric co-ops millions of dollars in federal taxes that now go directly toward serving co-op consumer-members.

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February 16, 2021

Utilities across the Midwest, including several local electric cooperatives in western and north-central Iowa, implemented load control measures and temporary service disruptions to some meters on Feb. 15 and 16. These highly unusual control measures were needed to protect the supply and demand balance of the electric grid as electric demand exceeded available supply because of extremely cold weather impacting the region over several days.

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December 4, 2020

With the theme of “Together We Power On,” the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) conducted its 2020 annual meeting virtually with more than 400 registered attendees on Thursday, Dec. 3. Board directors and employees from Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives watched a live stream of the virtual meeting, where they received informative updates from IAEC Board President Steve Seidl and IAEC Executive Vice President and General Manager Chuck Soderberg.

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September 18, 2020

On the morning of Sept. 18, 21 linemen from Iowa's electric cooperatives answered the call for mutual aid and headed south to Louisiana for two weeks.

The crews from seven electric cooperatives in Iowa will convene in Little Rock, AR, and then travel to Beauregard Electric Cooperative in Louisiana to assist with the co-op's massive power restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm that made landfall on Aug. 27. The men will step in and relieve other mutual aid crews that have been working for the past two weeks.

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August 20, 2020

On Monday, Aug. 10, a devastating derecho storm with winds nearing 140 miles per hour in some places carved a path of unprecedented destruction throughout central and east central Iowa. Immediately after the storm, Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives reported outages to more than 58,000 homes and businesses. Broken trees and limbs along with other windswept debris caused extensive damage to electric transmission and distribution systems throughout several counties. Three electric cooperatives reported at least 90% of their systems were offline, which speaks to the powerful magnitude of the derecho.

Power was restored to most meters within a week, and crews closed in on the remaining outages by Tuesday, August 18.

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May 7, 2020

More than 30 electric co-ops serving over 3 million member-consumers across the Upper Midwest have signed on to a letter urging members of Congress to provide economic relief for rural America. The letter was addressed to members of Congress from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Specifically, the letter calls for Congress to support additional stimulus package relief for food and ethanol processing plants, and the farmers and ranchers who serve themmost of whom are also electric cooperative members. IAEC signed on to the letter in addition to Iowa electric cooperatives in the Basin Electric Power Cooperative member system. 

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April 30, 2020

For many Iowa families, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a public health crisis – it’s also a financial crisis. To ease the financial burden on those who are experiencing decreased or lost income, Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives have temporarily suspended disconnections for nonpayment during the health emergency.

It’s important to note, however, the disconnect suspension is not a bill waiver or bill forgiveness. If you’re unable to pay your bill on time and in full, please contact your local electric cooperative as soon as possible to make payment arrangements.

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