Iowa Rural Power
The Iowa Rural Power Education Foundation (IRPEF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)4 organization whose goal is to inform, educate, and engage Iowans about the positive role electric cooperatives play in the communities they serve and support.
Iowa’s electric cooperatives are critical components of the State’s rural economy and in order to ensure co-op member-consumers have a proportional voice in public policy development; the Foundation aims to compliment the co-ops traditional government and political advocacy efforts by highlighting the unique advantages that exist for member-consumers by participating in the processes afforded under the cooperative business model and by creating opportunities for the general public to understand the benefits and potential of greater electrification of farms, homes and businesses.
Formed in 2017, the Foundation is a way for electric cooperatives to pool resources to have a collective impact in the larger public policy arena. The Foundation is made up of 29 electric cooperatives serving member-consumers in the state of Iowa and is governed by a 9 person Board of Directors made up of co-op leaders who are elected by their peers on a staggered basis.
Executive Director, IRPEF
Executive Vice President, IAEC
Board President, IRPEF
Chief Executive Officer, Midland Power Cooperative/Nishnabotna Valley REC
Foundation Projects and Initiatives
The Iowa Rural Power Education Foundation has partnered with the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL), a national nonprofit organization, to promote electrification in our communities. In 2019, they hosted the Electrify Iowa! Beneficial Electrification Summit in Des Moines, which brought together over 100 industry experts, leaders, and vendors to discuss electrification benefits and policy initiatives.
What is Beneficial Electrification? According to BEL:
“Beneficial Electrification includes the application of electricity to end-uses where doing so satisfies at least one of the following conditions, without adversely affecting the others:
- Saves consumers money over time;
- Benefits the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions;
- Improves product quality or consumer quality of life;
- Fosters a more robust and resilient grid
Beneficial Electrification programs are a valuable opportunity to engage both electric utilities and environmental groups in the effort to identify solutions that work well for the end-use consumer, local communities and the environment.”
To learn more about Beneficial Electrification, visit www.beneficialelecriftication.com/resources/
Fighting for Farmers and Producers
Iowa’s electric cooperatives know that when our communities are strong, our co-ops are strong. That’s why the Foundation has focused resources on promoting the work of Iowa’s farmers and producers and have worked to advocate on their behalf with elected officials and policymakers in Des Moines and Washington, DC.
Rural Economic Development
For the better part of a century, electric cooperatives in Iowa have helped create opportunities for economic success in our communities. As more poles and wires went up across the countryside, so too did the quality of life for rural Iowans. Today, Iowa’s electric co-ops build upon that foundation by leading the nation in utilizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program as a way to leverage Federal dollars against co-op and other local investments. Hundreds of projects, thousands of jobs, and billion of dollars in investments have been realized in Iowa because of this effort and electric co-ops are proud of the public-private partnership success.