Welcome to Living with Energy in Iowa, the magazine for members of Iowa's electric cooperatives. Published by the Iowa Associationof Electric Cooperatives, Living with Energy in Iowa has its roots in a proud, award-winning tradition of communicating to electric cooperative members about important issues involving electric cooperatives and electricity usage.
The very first statewide electric cooperative publication in Iowa was an eight-page, large-format newspaper called Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative News, which was sent to electric co-op members in January 1948. After going through two name changes, the tabloid newspaper became a magazine-sized newspaper called Iowa Rural Electric News in July 1960. In that issue, editor David E. Bryant wrote the following, in part, to describe the purpose of the publication: " ... to help keep you informed on matters pertaining to your electric co-op ... and to provide how-to-do-it information and ideas which will help you make the most effective and efficient use of the electric power which you're purchasing through your electric co-op."
Not surprisingly, we have those same goals today. The title of the magazine — Living with Energy in Iowa — reflects that we think life is pretty good here in Iowa. In fact, it's a phrase that says a lot about how to approach life in Iowa, and it permeates the pages of the magazine. Living with Energy in Iowa shows how electric cooperatives contribute to the local economic growth and betterment of their communities and how they work to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity. The magazine also offers tips on reducing energy bills, making energy-smart purchases and planning energy-efficient remodeling projects — along with stories on Iowans with interesting businesses or hobbies and coverage of family vacation destinations in the state. And, of course, every issue showcases recipes — many of them contributed by members across the state.
The phrase "Living with Energy in Iowa" is a mark registered within the state of Iowa to the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, a Touchstone Energy® partner, is the Des Moines-based service organization representing the state's member-owned local electric cooperatives. These cooperatives are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and affordable.
Iowa's farmers began forming rural electric cooperatives (RECs) during the 1930s, when large electric companies bypassed rural Iowa due to its sparse population. These pioneering men and women borrowed startup money from the Federal Rural Electrification Administration, which was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935.
Today, electric cooperatives offer more than reliable electric service; they also work to improve rural living. For example, all are involved in local community-betterment and economic-development programs. Many electric cooperatives offer state-of-the-art satellite television equipment and services to rural homes outside the reach of cable TV companies. Others lease emergency pagers, ideal for elderly people. And still others are involved in unique programs to improve rural housing or help home buyers with low-interest loans.
Formed in 1942, the IAEC provides legislative, regulatory, safety, communications and education and training programs and services to 37 member-owned distribution cooperatives (and six generation and transmission cooperatives) that serve more than 210,000 rural homes, farms and industries in all 99 counties. Iowa's electric cooperatives are part of a national network of 1,000 electric cooperatives that serve 25 million Americans in 46 states and work together through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a Washington, D.C.-based service organization established in 1942.
Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives is a national alliance of local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives providing high standards of service to customers large and small. More than 630 Touchstone Energy cooperatives in 45 states — 36 in Iowa — are delivering energy and energy solutions to approximately 22 million member-owners every day. Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve their residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural members with integrity, accountability, innovation and a long-standing commitment to communities.
Touchstone Energy co-ops provide high standards of service, emphasizing the significance of each electric cooperative's local presence and unique ties to its community — but offering the resources of a nationwide network to bring added value and benefits to customers. Some of the innovative programs Touchstone Energy co-ops offer include online energy audits, consolidated billing, energy management services and energy-efficient home information.