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PUBLIC POWER WEEK IS OCTOBER 7-13
Public Power for the Public Good
October 1, 2018 — The City of Lincolnton is one of more than 70 public power communities across North Carolina that provide safe, reliable electric service and outstanding customer service to more than 1.2 million people.
According to City of Lincolnton Mayor Ed Hatley, “Lincolnton residents may not realize that the city generates its own power as a member of the ElectriCities association and the North Carolina Municipal Power Agency 1. NCMPA1 owns a portion of the Catawba Nuclear Station, operated by Duke Energy, and provides wholesale power to 19 municipalities in western North Carolina including the City of Lincolnton. As a result, Lincolnton directly produces and distributes electricity for our customers. We set the rates, manage the operating costs and own the wired distribution lines. This is an enormous benefit to our residents and helps reduce our electric service customer costs.”
The NCMPA1 was formed to enable municipalities that own electric distribution systems to finance, construct, own, operate, and maintain generation and transmission facilities. According to ElectriCities, a sizable portion of NCMPA1’s debt will be retired by 2020 and that should lead to lower electric rates in public power communities across western North Carolina.
“We take tremendous pride in being a public power provider and serving our local community. Our local utility workers respond quickly to power outages and our customer service team is known for providing friendly service to their neighbors,” said Stephen H. Peeler, Lincolnton Public Works Director and NCMPA1 Commissioner. Peeler continued, “Our membership in ElectriCities and NCMPA1 enables us to manage our wholesale and retail electric service costs at a significant savings to our customers since we operate for the community and not for profit.”
The City of Lincolnton is celebrating Public Power Week from October 7-13, along with public power communities throughout North Carolina and the nation to recognize utility workers and promote the value of public power.
A statewide survey of 3,000 customers conducted this year found that 86 percent of public power customers are satisfied with their service and would choose public power if given a choice.
“As hometown utilities, public power communities always have the best interest of their local residents at heart,” said Roy Jones, CEO of ElectriCities, the non-profit organization that serves public power communities in North Carolina and beyond. “During the recent hurricane, it’s been a true inspiration to see public power communities rally around each other and lend a hand to help their neighbors in need. That type of dedication and support is a hallmark of public power communities.”
Public power providers 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.
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 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.
About the City of Lincolnton Electric Service
The City of Lincolnton Electric Distribution Department maintains the electric distribution lines that provide electric service to our customers. In addition to maintaining 75 miles of primary distribution lines, the department maintains the distribution substation on Lincoln Street, as well as many more miles of secondary lines, services structures, etc. The department also installs, repairs and maintains street lighting, traffic signals on city streets, cuts & trims trees for right-of-way maintenance, assists with electric maintenance at city owned buildings/facilities, assists the Street & Property Maintenance Division with tree trimming over streets, and provides mutual aid for other municipalities and governmental agencies. These employees are the folks you see in bucket trucks in thunderstorms, during & after ice storms, and other events that interrupt your electric service, getting your power back on.
About ElectriCities of North Carolina
ElectriCities is the energy behind public power. For more than 50 years, ElectriCities has helped North Carolina public power communities provide safe, reliable and affordable power to their customers. ElectriCities serves more than 1.2 million people in North Carolina public power communities, including 32 members of the N.C. Eastern Municipal Agency (NCEMPA) and 19 members of N.C. Municipal Power Agency #1 (NCMPA1). Learn more at www.electricities.com.
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