Owned by the member-consumers we serve, Iowa’s community-focused electric cooperatives power the lives of 650,000 Iowans throughout all 99 counties and are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. Built by the communities we serve, Iowa’s electric co-ops have also invested heavily in local economic development for decades.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives is a trade association established to support the interests of member-owned electric cooperatives, including 36 distribution co-ops and eight generation and transmission co-ops. Formed in 1942, IAEC aims to unify and empower Iowa's electric cooperatives through legislative representation, regulatory oversight, training and education services, safety programs, communications support and advocacy.
- Steve Seidl, Board President, District 5, Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative
- Don Shonka, Vice President, District 2, East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative
- Larry White, Secretary/Treasurer, District 1, Access Energy Cooperative
- Roger Solomonson, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, District 3, Heartland Power Cooper
- Gordon Greimann, District 6, Franklin Rural Electric Cooperative
- Neal Heldt, District 7, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
- Darrell Jensen, District 4, Farmers Electric Cooperative (Greenfield)
- Ex officio/non-voting board members:
- Marion Denger, NRECA Board Representative, Prairie Energy Cooperative
- Carmen Hosack, Managers' Representative, CEO of Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative
- Chuck Soderberg, Executive Vice President of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
The Story of Iowa's Electric Cooperatives
Chapter 1: Power to the People
Owned by the members we serve, Iowa's not-for-profit electric co-ops power the lives of 650,000 Iowans throughout all 99 counties and we're committed to delivering power that is safe, affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible. Learn more:
Chapter 2: Out of the Darkness
Most electric cooperatives in Iowa formed in the 1930s and 1940s when farmers had to band together to gain access to affordable electricity. Electric co-ops have been member-owned and locally governed since the beginning. Learn more:
Chapter 3: Enduring Affordability
While the price of most things like houses, eggs, milk, stamps and gasoline have increased twenty-fold or more over the past 75 years, electricity has remained very affordable. The average cost per kilowatt-hour has only doubled since the 1930s. In fact, the average household on Iowa electric co-op lines pays about $5 a day for safe, reliable power. Learn more:
Chapter 4: Doing More with Less
Iowa's not-for-profit electric cooperatives serve primarily rural areas with sparse populations. We serve about 15% of the state's population but cover more than 80% of Iowa's land mass. Electric co-op generate far less revenue per mile of line compared to investor-owned utilities and municipalities. Learn how we make it work:
Chapter 5: Reliability
For Iowa's not-for-profit electric cooperatives, reliable service is our daily priority. In the past five years, we've kept the lights on 99.97% of the time despite blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes and other extreme weather events. Learn how we work proactively to keep the lights on:
Chapter 6: Environmental Stewardship
The electric co-ops of Iowa are committed to sustainability through energy efficiency efforts and investments in renewable energy. Learn how Iowa co-ops are leading the way on solar:
Chapter 7: Investing in Rural Communities
We're committed to growing economic development in the rural areas we serve, which improves quality of life through local jobs and added tax revenues. See how we empower rural communities:
Seven Cooperative Principles
Not-for-profit electric cooperatives are owned by the members they serve and they adhere to these 7 cooperative principles:
1. Voluntary and Open Membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.
3. Members’ Economic Participation: Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4. Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
5. Education, Training, and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. Concern for Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.