Iowa’s municipal utilities collectively add more than $1 billion in total value to the state’s gross regional product every year, according to a just released economic impact study by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU).
The study also showed that Iowa municipal utilities:
- Serve an estimated 2,179,789 people. That’s 69% of Iowans.
- Employ an estimated 3,274 people directly and support another 5,000 jobs indirectly. That’s one of Iowa’s largest employers.
- Own almost $4 billion in total assets.
- Generate almost $1.3 billion in annual revenues.
“The numbers confirm what IAMU has always known: Municipal utilities provide value, strengthen communities, and spur economic growth,” said Troy DeJoode, IAMU Executive Director. “There are significant benefits to having municipal utilities in communities, and we need to make sure everyone knows it.”
Krista Wenzel, President and CEO of KDW Advisors, assisted IAMU with gathering and analyzing the available data. This meant collecting IAMU members’ numbers from the Iowa Auditor of State’s website and the Iowa Utilities Board’s utility annual report filings. Wenzel then used the IMPLAN regional model for the state of Iowa to generate an economic impact study.
“The mission of municipal utilities is to do what’s in the public interest,” said Tim Whipple, IAMU General Counsel. “Municipal utilities can focus on providing the best and lowest costs service to customers because they’re responsive to the community and not to shareholders and quarterly profit demands. This value allows communities to achieve other long-term objectives such as quality of life, economic growth, and affordability. We’ve known these benefits for a long time, and we regularly talk about the value of a municipal utility. But we don’t talk enough about the economic impact of a municipal utility. Collectively, municipal utilities are one of the engines driving the state’s economy forward, creating well-paying jobs, and building the foundation of economic growth in other sectors of the economy.”