Public power has a long, successful history in the U.S. Locally owned public power utilities first appeared more than 100 years ago when communities created electric utilities to provide light and power to their citizens.
Municipal electric utilities are locally owned and operated by the cities they serve. As such, their primary purpose is to enhance the quality of life of their customers and community. This ownership structure provides unique advantages and benefits.
Municipal Power is affordable and accessible. Municipal utilities are nonprofit, answering to their customers without a profit motive. Rates are transparently set by local councils. In addition, public power offers personal customer service. When customers need help with an outage, a new connection, or paying a bill, calls are answered locally by utility employees who are fellow residents.
Municipal power is community focused and accountable. Citizens elect city councils to oversee the utility. Residents have a direct voice in utility decisions at council meetings. Decisions are made to benefit the community, not shareholders or others with no connection to the city. Customers know how and why decisions are made. When citizens have concerns, they can call their elected officials. In many public power towns, customers can simply speak directly to the general manager of the utility.
Municipal power is reliable. Reliability is Job #1. Line crews live locally, providing quick and prompt service for outages. Many public power systems have local generation as a fall back if the main grid has an issue.
Public Power – Value for the Community, not the shareholder!