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Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative Service Territory Map

Mission Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative's mission is to provide reliable, competitively-priced energy and other valuable services to benefit our members, our customers and the communities we serve.

Member-owned We are owned by the members we serve. We serve over 13,000 farms, homes, businesses and industries in northwest Iowa - the heart of America's breadbasket.

Seven Cooperative Principles
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative operates according to the seven cooperative principles. These principles help guide the operations of all cooperatives throughout the world.

  1. Open and Voluntary Membership: Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances.
  2. Democratic Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Elected representatives (directors/trustees) are elected from among the membership and are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote); 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 remains the common property of the cooperative. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; 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 as well as their unique identity.
  5. Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees), CEOs, and employees to help them effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives. Communications about the nature and benefits of cooperatives, particularly with the general public and opinion leaders, helps boost cooperative understanding.
  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: Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership.
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives with three amigos.

A Touchstone Energy Cooperative®
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative®.Touchstone Energy is a national network of over 700 electric cooperatives in 46 states that provides resources and leverages partnerships to help engage with member-owners. 

As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, our core values consist of Integrity, Accountability, Innovation and Community.

  1. INTEGRITY: Members first. Every day. That’s the power of membership. Not for-profit electric cooperatives deliver energy to members at the cost of service, this differs from investor-owned utilities that distribute profits to investors not necessarily to those it serves.
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY: Electric co-ops belong to the members they serve. Decisions made benefit those in your community because co-op business is conducted through a locally elected board of directors who propose policies to be voted on by members.
  3. INNOVATION: Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives offer state-of-the-art technology to better serve members with cutting-edge programs. They help co-ops forge relationships with business members through educational events, web conferences and ongoing communications.
  4. COMMUNITY: Touchstone Energy cooperatives work to improve the quality of life in their communities. They donate time, energy and resources to charities, schools and community events and take a leadership role in community development projects.

Office and Service Center Locations Our headquarters is located in Estherville, Iowa. We have six service centers, throughout our service territory, located in Estherville, Swea City, Emmetsburg, Pocahontas, Alta and Spencer.   

The Power that Supplies the Heartland Hydro-electric dams along the Missouri River produce low-cost electricity; and coal-fired plants, like the Neal #4 Generation Station by Sioux City, Iowa, are fueled by low-sulfur western lignite. 

Renewable Energy We own 14 - 1.5 megawatt G.E. turbines that began generating electricity in March 2009. 

We constructed a 140-kW/AC, ground-mount solar system located beside ILEC's headquarters. The panels began generating electricity on Oct. 3, 2016.

Generation and Transmissions Cooperatives We purchase wholesale electricity from generation and transmission cooperatives - Corn Belt Power Cooperative in Humboldt, Iowa and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative in Le Mars, Iowa.

Cooperative Stats

  • 62 full- and part-time employees
  • 14-person board of directors
  • 13,100 accounts
  • 4,806 miles of distribution lines
  • 605 million kilowatt-hours sold
  • $187 million in total utility plant (includes our two wind farms)

The consolidation of Iowa's Buena Vista County REC, Pocahontas County REC, and D.E.K. REC in 1986 and the merger of Cherokee County REC in 1989 to form Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative has created a challenge by change and has succeeded with strength.