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What is Public Power

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Public power today is an important, contemporary American institution. From small towns to big cities, wherever public power exists, it is an expression of the American ideal of local people working together to meet local needs. It is an expression of the local control that is at the heart of our federalism system. Public power is also a strong competitive force that provides a "yardstick" for consumers and regulators to measure the performance and rates of private power companies. This continuous competition helps all electric consumers, not just those served by public power.

Public power means our homes and businesses run on electricity that’s provided by a not-for profit, publically-owned utility. Its core mission is to serve local citizens.

Public power offers:

  • Reliable, safe service
  • Lower-cost electricity 
  • High-quality customer service 
  • Energy-efficiency programs 
  • Community-wide economic contributions

Did you know Public Power means local control?
Like all electric utilities, public power systems must meet a variety of federal and state mandates. Yet, public power confers enormous benefits on citizens of public power communities because it provides wide latitude to make local decisions that best suit our local needs and values. Every city and town has its own distinctive characteristics, including natural resources, geography and climate, economic and social opportunities and challenges, diversity of citizenry, and community spirit. These local characteristics must be taken into account when decisions are made about electric rates and services, generating fuels, clean air and water, and other issues that affect the entire community.

Did you know Public Power helps the local economy grow?
Public power stimulates economic prosperity, translating into better living conditions for families and the entire community. Public power has the ability as a local government arm to provide streamlined, "one-stop" customer services that encourage existing business customers to maintain and expand their operations and attract new businesses. Strong stable employers mean strong, stable jobs for local citizens. Low electric rates also hold down consumer costs, allowing public power customers to spend more money on other goods and services. This further stimulates the local economy.

Did you know Public Power means not-for-profit?
While public power utilities are "not-for-profit" organizations, that does not mean that they are not entrepreneurial, or that they do not make major economic contributions to their communities. Public power systems on average return to state and local governments in-lieu-of-tax payments and other contributions that are equivalent to state and local taxes paid by private power companies. In addition, unlike their private power company counterparts, public power systems serve only one constituency: their customers. They do not divide their loyalties between service customers and trying to make higher profits for stockholders.