In more than seventy cities and towns across North Carolina, homes and businesses are powered by municipal-owned utilities. These public power communities have a well-earned reputation for providing safe, reliable electric service and outstanding customer service to more than 1.2 million people in North Carolina.
This week is celebrated as “Public Power Week” in North Carolina and nationwide. Gov. Roy Cooper issued a formal proclamation declaring the first week in October as Public Power Week to “commend our state’s public power cities and towns for their outstanding contributions to our communities.” The proclamation highlights public power utilities as “valuable assets that contribute to the well-being of the community and provide economic development opportunities.”
A statewide survey of 3,000 customers conducted this year found that 86% of residents are satisfied with public power.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of being local. Public power providers have the local community’s best interest at heart with everything they do,” said Roy Jones, CEO of ElectriCities, a non-profit organization that serves public power communities in North Carolina and beyond. “Local crews can quickly respond to power outages to get the lights back on, and local customer service representatives provide the type of personal attention that comes from being part of your community.”
Public power providers in North Carolina — and across the nation — consistently outperform investor-owned utilities when it comes to reliability. Public power experiences fewer power outages, and gets the power restored more quickly than others.
Twenty-three public power providers in North Carolina have been recognized by the American Public Power Association (APPA) as a Reliable Public Power Provider for providing outstanding reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement.
A Rich Tradition of Public Power in North Carolina
Public power has a rich tradition in North Carolina that dates back to 1889, when the City of Statesville began using electric lights instead of gas street lamps to illuminate the tiny downtown area. Today, North Carolina is home to four of the nation’s largest public power providers: Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Greenville Utilities Commission, High Point, and Wilson Energy. The state ranks among the top 10 providers of public power in the nation.
Nationally, there are more than 2,000 public power providers who serve 49 million people.
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About ElectriCities of North Carolina
ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., is 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. ElectriCities manages the power supply for two power agencies in North Carolina and provides technical services to assist members in operating their electric distribution systems. ElectriCities also helps these locally owned and operated public power providers thrive today and in the future by delivering innovative services, including legislative, technical, communications, and economic development expertise.
Visit www.electricities.com to learn more about the benefits of public power and how ElectriCities helps communities keep the lights on through access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy.
VP, Communications, ElectriCities