In the early 1930's, prior to the establishment of electric cooperatives such as Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative, rural America was almost in total darkness. Nearly 90% of our nation's rural areas were without electricity.
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On May 11, 1935, Congress acted to remove rural areas from the "Dark Ages" by creating the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), now known as the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). At first, low interest REA loans were made available to commercial power companies for the purpose of electrifying rural areas. However, these utilities didn't see much need in participating in the program. So, seeing the need, REA turned to providing financing for member-owners who wanted electricity but were being bypassed. Locally owned, not-for-profit cooperatives were born.
Southwest Iowa REC is a private non-profit electric utility owned by the members it serves and was established to provide reliable and affordable electric service to the rural areas of southwest Iowa. The counties served include Adair, Adams, Cass, Decatur, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, Taylor, and Union.
Effective January 1, 2004 the cooperatives of Southwest Iowa Services Cooperative and Rideta Electric Cooperative Inc. merged to form Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative. Rideta Electric, Inc., headquartered in Mount Ayr, Iowa was originally incorporated on September 20th, 1940. Southwest Iowa Service Cooperative was established on January 1, 1998 through the consolidation of Adams County Cooperative Electric Company located in Corning, Iowa (incorporated in 1936) and Nyman Electric Cooperative, Inc. in Stanton, Iowa (incorporated in 1940). This consolidation brought together a quality organization that provides electric service to its member-owners. Today, Southwest Iowa REC meets the needs of their member-owners from three facilities located in Corning, Stanton and Mount Ayr.