Iowa Utilities Board

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The Iowa Utilities Board is a 3-member public utilities commission, with beginnings in 1878. It is a quasi-judicial tribunal, which regulates services and rates of electric, natural gas, water and telecommunication providers in the U.S. state of Iowa and has existed with its present name since 1986.

Brief history (1878 - 1986)[edit]

The history of the IUB begins in 1878 as the Iowa Board of Railroad Commissioners, whose three members were publicly elected for a two-year term. In 1911, an Office of Commerce Counsel was established within, which with increasing electrification took on the regulation of transmission lines. It was renamed the Iowa State Commerce Commission in 1937.[1]

It was only in 1963 that the regulation of rates and services of all public utility companies (electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunications) became Commission tasks. At the same time, the legislature extended commissioner terms to six years and the positions became appointed. In 1986 the state renamed the Commission as Iowa Utilities Board.[1]


The Iowa Utilities Board regulates rates and services of electric utilities, natural gas utility and water utilities, and a some telecommunication companies per Iowa Code chapters 476 through 479B[2] It supervises all pipelines and transmission lines, and the sale and distribution of electricity. In addition it has various connected authorities like resolving disputes and dealing with complaints, enforcing safety as far as engineering standards go.[3]

Electric utilities[edit]

The IUB regulates service and rates of the 2 Iowa electric companies, MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Company and also the Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs). The latter can choose to be regulated for rates and only the Linn County, Iowa REC has chosen to do so.[3]

Communications utilities[edit]

The IUB regulates only the service of landline telephone providers in Iowa, and neither regulates cellphone providers nor any rates. Since 2007 it issue cable television franchise agreements.[3]


The IUB regulates rates and service of only the Iowa-American Water Company, which operates in Davenport, Iowa and Clinton, Iowa. It does neither regulate small nor municipally owned water utilities.[3]


Members are appointed by the Governor of Iowa for 6-year terms. As of 2016 the IUB consists of Libby Jacobs, Nick Wagner with Geri Huser as chairwoman.[4] Huser has been described as "businessfriendly".[5]

Board members since the boards inception in 1986 are listed in the table per its website. [6]

Term Name Function Party
1987-1997 Nancy Shimanek Boyd
1988-1994 Dennis Nagel
1991-1999 Emmit George
1995-200 Allan T. Thoms
1997-1999 Paula Dierenfeld
1999-2001 Susan Frye
1999-2007 Diane Munns
2001-2005 Mark O. Lambert
2002-2005 Elliott G. Smith
2005-2009 John R. Norris
2005-2007 Curtis W. Stamp
2007-2011 Krista K. Tanner
2007-2013 Darrell Hanson Republican
2009-2011 Robert Berntsen
2011-2013 Swati Dandekar Democratic
2013-2015 Sheila Tipton
2011-2017 Libby Jacobs interim chair May 1, 2011 - April 30, 2015 Republican
2013-2019 Nick Wagner Republican
2015-2021 Geri Huser chair Democratic

Court cases[edit]


  1. ^ a b History of the Iowa Utilities Board Iowa Utilities Board, n.d., retrieved 18 March 2016
  2. ^ Iowa Code, Iowa General Assembly, n.d., retrieved 18 March 2016
  3. ^ a b c d Jurisdiction and Regulatory Authority of the Iowa Utilities Board Iowa Utilities Board, n.d., retrieved 18 March 2016
  4. ^ Board members Iowa Utilities Board, n.d., retrieved 18 March 2016
  5. ^ Ryan J. Foley,Gov. Branstad taps new chair for Iowa Utilities Board. Associated Press, March 11, 2015
  6. ^ Past Commissioners/Board Members Iowa Utilities Board, n.d., retrieved 18 March 2016
  7. ^ a b c Court proceedings Iowa Utilities Board, 14 March 2016, retrieved 18 March 2016
  8. ^ Hawkeye land company v. Iowa Utilities Board

External links[edit]