Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives


December 2, 2022

The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC), the trade association for Iowa’s electric cooperatives, conducted its 2022 Annual Meeting at the Sheraton West Des Moines Conference Center on December 1 and 2 with more than 350 registered attendees. Board directors and employees from Iowa’s locally owned electric co-ops received informative updates from the IAEC board and staff in addition to learning about industry trends and current events.

“Our theme of People. Power. Purpose. really sums up what electric cooperatives are all about,” remarked Roger Solomonson of Heartland Power Cooperative, who has completed his first year as IAEC board president. "Iowa's electric cooperatives should be proud of what their statewide association has accomplished on their behalf this year."

IAEC Executive Vice President and General Manager Chuck Soderberg covered several topics during his executive report including cybersecurity resources available to member co-ops and the importance of embracing an “all-of-the-above” power generation strategy to ensure reliability for member-consumers.

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September 6, 2022

Guided by our cooperative commitment to community, Iowa's electric cooperatives have a long history of supporting students in the communities we serve through scholarships and leadership opportunities. We’ve also been sending deserving high school students to our nation’s capital every summer for years as part of the national Electric Cooperative Youth Tour program.

Iowa’s electric co-ops are pleased to once again offer a virtual opportunity for rural students to learn more about advocacy, electric cooperative career opportunities and the cooperative business model with a three-part webinar series in October. The Iowa Youth Leadership Academy is open to any high school student in our service area and they are invited to register at by October 1.

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September 6, 2022

Earlier this summer, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa sponsored its second statewide contest to highlight our cooperative commitment to community. During the month of June, the Shine the Light contest invited member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives to nominate deserving volunteers in their communities.

 “The Shine the Light contest gave our members and employees a unique opportunity to show their appreciation for family, friends and neighbors who are making a positive difference in the community,” remarked Erin Campbell, director of communications for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.

68 nominations were submitted from across the state, highlighting the work of many incredible Iowans. Three volunteers were selected as winners from the entries received.

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March 23, 2022

Nearly 200 employees and elected directors from Iowa’s locally owned rural electric cooperatives (RECs) came to the Iowa State Capitol on March 22 to advocate for important issues during the annual “REC Day on the Hill” event. “Our advocacy day on the hill is an important opportunity to personally touch base with our elected officials and share a local perspective on issues that impact rural Iowa and rural economic development,” remarked Roger Solomonson, board president of IAEC. 

Specifically, advocates talked to legislators about a digital sales tax inequity that Iowa’s electric cooperatives hope to resolve before the 2022 Legislative Session ends. The inequity stems from an unintentional error made in 2018 legislation that requires Iowa electric co-ops to pay a new 6% sales and use tax on digital goods and services, even though investor-owned utilities are exempt. Since the law went into effect in 2019, the IAEC estimates that Iowa electric co-ops have collectively paid $300,000 or more annually in taxes, resulting in roughly $1 million of unintentional taxes paid by rural Iowans through their energy bills. 

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December 15, 2021

Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives, primarily serving rural areas, are monitoring conditions and are prepared to restore power as the state braces for high winds later today.

“In high wind situations, there’s the potential for power outages due to branches, limbs and trees coming into contact with power lines,” remarked Scott Meinecke, director of safety for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives. The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning, forecasting wind gusts as high as 60-70 miles per hour for some portions of the state later on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Electric cooperative crews are on alert and ready to respond if outages occur. If you experience a power outage, call your local electric cooperative to report it, even if you think your neighbors may have called it in. Meinecke says, “The more outage information your electric co-op has on hand, the better it can pinpoint the exact location and extent of an outage.” Consumers can visit to see a statewide map of current electric cooperative outages; the map is automatically updated every 15 minutes.

“Safety is always our top priority,” says Meinecke. “Lineworkers are ready to respond to any outages, but they may not be able to climb poles or go up in the bucket if the conditions are too windy. Please be patient during these high wind situations and know that we are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power.”

If you see downed power lines, do not touch them or drive over them; always assume power lines are energized and dangerous until an authority says otherwise. Call your local electric co-op or local police to report downed power lines, damaged poles or damaged electrical equipment.

Iowa’s electric cooperatives serve approximately 80% of the state’s land mass and about 15% of the state’s population throughout all 99 counties.

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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 8, 2021

The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) debuts a new name and new look for its monthly magazine for the member-consumers of Iowa's electric cooperatives. Iowa Electric Cooperative Living (formerly Living with Energy in Iowa) continues as a 16-page print magazine which is mailed monthly to more than 55,000 households, farms and businesses throughout rural Iowa. Some content is also featured online at

"The new name and updated design will enable us to connect even more with our readers. Because we added "cooperative" to our new name, we felt it was appropriate to introduce the rebrand in October during National Co-op Month," remarked Erin Campbell, director of communications at IAEC. "Our new name shows that Iowa's electric co-ops are proud of our cooperative heritage and our legacy of local ownership and governance."

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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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Iowa's locally owned electric cooperatives are committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable & environmentally responsible power to 650,000 Iowans.

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