About Public Power
About Public Power
More than 2,000 cities and towns in the United States light up their homes, businesses and streets with "public power" - electricity that comes from a community owned and operated utility.
Each public power system is different, reflecting its hometown characteristics and values, but all have a common purpose: providing reliable and safe not-for-profit electricity at a reasonable price while protecting the environment.
While the vast majority are owned by cities and towns, a number of counties, public utility districts, and even a handful of states have public power systems. Most-especially the smaller ones-are governed by a city council, while others are overseen by an independently elected or appointed board.
For more than 125 years, public power has been a tradition that works across the nation on behalf of its communities and customers. Today, it is a thriving segment of the electric utility industry, enhancing overall economic development, often with additional infrastructure responsibilities for broadband services.
Public power has a strong environmental protection track record, solid credentials with bond ratings agencies, and a reputation for reliable, customer-focused service. Public power also continues to be an appealing institution for many cities and towns currently served by private power companies and interested in the opportunity to obtain lower rates and local control over an essential service.
Failures of wholesale electricity markets-especially those run by regional transmission organization-and the impacts of these failures on wholesale and retail customers are priority issues for public power. Climate change, environmental protection, and energy efficiency; maintaining and enhancing reliability; developing new generation and other power supply options are all high on public power's agenda.