The Amana Society Service Company provides electricity and water utilities to approximately 1,500 residents and over 160 businesses in and around the seven Amana Colonies. The Amana Society has provided utilities to the Amana Colonies since their founding. The Amana Society Service Company, Inc. was incorporated in 1936 as the provider of electric service to the colonies. Water service was provided by each individual colony to its residents and businesses until the early 1970s when this function was also assumed by the Amana Society Service Company. While it is an investor-owned utility, owned by the Amana Society shareholders, it operates similar to a municipal utility, providing street lighting and miscellaneous services to the community.
The Service Company has built a modern and reliable system and now boasts underground electrical distribution lines to all seven colonies. A project to convert all the customers to automatic meter reading technology was completed in 2015.
Electricity for distribution in the colonies is purchased through an electric buying group, the Resale Purchasing Group of Iowa (RPGI), an alliance of municipals, rural electric cooperatives and one investor-owned utility across eastern and central Iowa. The aggregation of many smaller individual loads gives RPGI greater negotiating power to achieve the lowest possible rates for the customers of its members. The Service Company also buys “green energy” from the 2.8 megawatt Amana Farms anaerobic digester, which processes beef cattle waste and offsite industrial and food wastes to produce methane used to generate electricity. Waste processed through the digester is stored in an 18 million gallon lagoon and applied as crop fertilizer through the use of a nine-mile pipeline which distributes the waste too much of the over 25,000-acre land mass that is the Amana Colonies.
The Service Company owns and operates a 24-megawatt diesel generating plant that provides storm protection and other interruption protection for the Amana Colonies in the event of an interruption in the supply of power from the transmission lines bringing in power from remote generation. Ownership of this stand-by capacity helps in the negotiation of lower electricity rates for the Service Company customers.
In the past, the Amana Society Service Company provided telephone service to the Amana Colonies. The telephone service company was sold to a private telephone service provider in the early 1990s.