Public Power utilities are afforded one of the most valuable assets, priority access to federal power generation and transmission, otherwise called “public preference”. Congress granted public preference to consumer-owned utilities to ensure that the benefits of federal power were passed through to the public at the lowest possible cost and to extend those benefits to rural areas.

Public power’s primary mission is serving the needs of its customers, placing service and local control above all else. The rates are set by locally elected boards and are based on the actual cost of providing their products and services

Day-to-day operating decisions are made on the local level by utility managers. Customers have access to the utility staff and decision-makers because they are all part of the same community. Board members are elected and customers can express their views on operation and rates at the ballot box and in open meetings.

Reliability and power quality are also key measures of electric service. The frequency and duration of unplanned power outages, power quality, and adequacy of power supply are of paramount importance to customers, particularly in an age of such heavy reliance on electronic and digital technology. Managers and staffs of consumer-owned utilities, who usually live in the community they serve and who answer to locally elected boards, have a personal stake in maintaining reliable and high-quality operations to serve their communities.

To find out more about the benefits and history of public power, visit the Public Power Council’s website.