Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives


The locally owned electric cooperatives of Iowa are committed to fostering economic development in the rural areas we serve, which improves quality of life through local jobs and added tax revenue.

Economic Impact Study

In 2023, IAEC commissioned Goss & Associates of Omaha to conduct an economic impact study, detailing how Iowa's electric cooperatives contribute to the state's economy. For the five years ending in 2021, the study found that Iowa electric co-ops generated a total impact on the state of $4.8 billion, produced $688 million in wages and salaries, directly supported 1,912 jobs, generated self-employment income of $79.5 million and paid $144.7 million in state and local taxes.

Not only have Iowa’s electric co-ops’ economic impacts been historically significant, but the study also concludes that "co-ops have assisted local and state organizations in the retention, attraction and expansion of businesses in the state. Separate from their spending impacts, electric cooperatives invest in efforts to attract and retain jobs and investment within their communities.”

In addition to their daily duty of providing safe, reliable and affordable power, the study found that Iowa electric cooperatives had an impact of $14.7 billion in economic development projects between 2018 and 2022, supporting 7,366 jobs (retained, attracted or expanded) during that same time period.

2023 IAEC Economic Impact Study

Iowa Area Development Group (IADG)

In 1985, Iowa's electric co-ops joined forces with other utility groups in the state to form the Iowa Area Development Group. IADG is committed to providing consultation and assistance to help businesses and communities achieve their project development goals. IADG's team of economic development professionals provides a wide range of services including available site and building identification, financial incentive packaging, marketing, community resource assessment and other tools vital to development success. Since its creation, IADG has assisted with over 2,000 economic development projects which has resulted in over $10 billion of investment in rural Iowa. Over 50,000 jobs have been retained or created because of IADG's efforts since 1985. Learn more at

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Over the decades, locally owned electric cooperatives have partnered with USDA Rural Development to invest in rural economic development through their REDLG programs. The Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) and Grant (REDG) programs provide funding to rural projects through local utility organizations, which often includes not-for-profit electric co-ops.
Under the REDLoan program, USDA provides zero interest loans to local utilities, which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly, and the utility is responsible for repayment to the Agency. Under the REDGrant program, USDA provides grant funds to local utility organizations which use the funding to establish revolving loan funds (RLF). Loans are made from the revolving loan funds to projects that will create or retain rural jobs.  When the revolving loan fund is terminated, the grant is repaid to the Agency.

Additionally, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers programs that provide much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities. RUS's Electric Program provides capital and leadership to maintain, expand, upgrade and modernize America’s vast rural electric infrastructure. The loans and loan guarantees finance the construction or improvement of electric distribution, transmission and generation facilities in rural areas. The Electric Program also provides funding to support demand-side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-and off-grid renewable energy systems. Loans are made to cooperatives, corporations, states, territories, subdivisions, municipalities, utility districts and non-profit organizations.

Learn more about USDA involvement in Iowa at

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

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