ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., the membership organization that provides power supply and related critical services to over 90 community-owned electric systems in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia—collectively known as public power—joins its member communities and the more than 2,000 public power communities across the country in celebrating Public Power Week, Oct. 1-7, 2023.
“Public Power Week is an annual opportunity to shine a light on the value of public power and on the people who help provide that value,” said Roy Jones, CEO of ElectriCities. “Public power providers are not for profit, community-owned, and locally controlled, which means a better quality of life and peace of mind for public power customers.”
Public power providers are known for providing exceptionally reliable, safe, affordable, and sustainable electricity to their customers.
Exceptional reliability is a hallmark of public power. In fact, North Carolina’s public power customers experience nearly 40% fewer outages than other power providers’ customers. And when the power does go out, public power lineworkers restore power faster than other providers do.
“Public power providers in North Carolina keep the power on 99.98% of the time—that averages out to be less than one outage a year for less than an hour,” Jones said. “As critically important as that unmatched reliability is, it’s only part of the public power story.”
Because public power providers are locally owned, locally operated, and locally controlled, they answer to their local customers—not to shareholders, and they make decisions based on what’s best for their customers and their communities. Public power utilities also provide essential jobs that support their local economy.
“In public power communities, the utility’s employees—the lineworkers, customer service representatives, engineers, communicators, and other specialists—are local municipal employees,” Jones said. “As members of the community, they’re dedicated to keeping the lights on for their neighbors.”
Since public power providers are not-for-profit, if revenues do exceed expenses, those resources stay in the community and help with local needs.
A strength of public power is its broad support system. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia public power providers are part of a mutual aid network that spans the ElectriCities membership and the country, providing invaluable support during hurricanes and other natural disasters while maintaining a superior safety record.
Public power providers share knowledge and access to resources and, together, speak in a unified voice on state and federal issues affecting public power.
“The strength of public power is the value it provides customers and communities,” Jones said. “This Public Power Week and every week, we celebrate that value and all those dedicated to powering their community’s future.”