Public Power General Information
For more than 100 years, public power utilities have remained true to their fundamental obligation to their citizen-customers–the obligation to serve. Public power utilities offer local control and commitment, public accountability, low rates, and responsive customer service to the communities they serve.
This document explains public power and how it benefits communities. It outlines the steps in forming a new public power utility and how the incumbent utility will likely respond. It also addresses many false charges commonly leveled against public power and gives examples of successful public power campaigns.
Public power utilities are community-owned, locally controlled and operated on a not-for-profit basis. Each utility is a little different, depending on population, geography, structure, and the community’s values and goals. This ability to tailor operations and services to the local community is the foundation of public power’s success.
A public power utility provides long-term value to its community and citizens. The benefits are manifold, including (to name a few) rate stability, support for jobs, policies that are in line with community priorities, and financial support for local government functions. To examine these benefits, it is helpful to consider them in broad categories: local control, reliable customer service, affordable rates, and economic development.