Beginning Sunday, utilities across the U.S. will celebrate Public Power Week—a week used to educate the community on the benefits of public power. But what exactly is public power? Public power utilities are not-for-profit entities owned by their communities. Across the U.S., 2,011 public power utilities power 49 million people in 49 states and five territories.
As a public power utility, Kissimmee Utility Authority offers a variety of benefits to the community we serve:
Local Control – Public power is distinctly different from the investor-owned utility sector and even rural electric cooperatives because it is fully accountable to its customers. Local control affords public power communities five distinct advantages:
- Accountability and transparency in governance
- Financial support for local government
- More efficient municipal operations
- The ability to tailor utility policies, programs and practices to serve the priorities of the local community
- The value of ownership
Public power is about serving the local community.
Reliable Customer Service – Public power utilities are highly responsive to customers’ needs and concerns, typically getting high marks for customer satisfaction because their first and only purpose is to provide efficient, reliable service to the customers in their communities.
Affordable Prices – Across the country, publicly-owned electric utilities continue to lead the way in providing customers with low-cost energy for homes and businesses. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Energy show that public power customers pay 15 percent less, on average, than do customers of investor-owned utilities or electric cooperatives, as they have year after year since the federal government began keeping electricity rate statistics more than 70 years ago.
Reliability – Customers of public power utilities lose power less often. Customers of a public power utility are likely to be without power for just 59 minutes a year, compared to customers of private utilities that may lose power for 133 minutes a year — provided there are no major adverse events.
Quick Restoration – Public power utilities are able to restore power in half the amount of time of private utilities. A public power utility’s headquarters and operations are located near the utility’s customers. Distribution lineworkers are very familiar with the utility’s service territory–and thus likely to be more responsive to outages.
Local Economic Development – Public power utilities are an integral part of the economic development of their communities, working closely with new and existing businesses to provide the highest levels of reliability, customer service and development assistance. Public power utilities are local and are invested in the success of the customers and communities they serve. Every dollar paid to a public power employee circulates through the local economy 4 to 5 times.
We thank you for your support of public power — an American tradition that has been working in Kissimmee for 118 years!