Public Power

Public Power Electricity Utilities

The City of Pittsburg is exploring different electricity options for our citizens, including public power. Over the past two years, an initial study and extensive research have highlighted some potential benefits of public power for our community and local businesses. 

This page provides information on what public power is, statistics on the use of public power today, and the benefits of public power that communities nationwide have experienced.

Click below for more in-depth information specific to the City of Pittsburg’s past and current efforts related to exploring public power. 

 

Learn More About The City's Efforts

What is Public Power?

You can think of public power like schools and libraries: not-for-profit organizations which are run by your local government and owned by the community. This community ownership means that public power is governed by elected or appointed volunteer citizens, and it gives citizens a direct voice in decision-making.

In Pittsburg, we have three public utilities – water, stormwater, and sewer.  We are looking at adding a fourth public utility, electricity. This business model is referred to as public power.

Public power is nothing new. The statistics below share how millions of Americans and communities in Kansas use public power today.

Public Power Statistics

60 %

of electricity utilities in America are public power

49,000,000

people nationwide use public power utilities

118

communities in Kansas already use public power

Benefits of Public Power

Public Power Cost Savings Pittsburg KS

Cost Control For Customers

Public power would stabilize and could lower the cost of electricity for everyone, as well as minimize future rate hikes. How? With a low-cost business model, right to tax-exempt financing and not-for-profit status.

Improvements In Reliability

Customers of public power utilities lose power less often. Outage and adverse incidents are well-managed because employees are local and know the area, and as these utilities are often smaller they can be agile and responsive. Better reinvestment improves the system, making it more reliable.

Public Power Improved Reliability Pittsburg KS
Public Power Local Economy Pittsburg KS

Strengthen The Local Economy

A public power utility would invest money back into Pittsburg. Community-owned utilities give back approximately 5.6% of revenue to the community – that’s around $58 billion nationwide. Every dollar of a public power utility employee’s earnings cycles through the community around five times.

Improved Environment for Businesses

Cost control, power quality and reliability would make our community more attractive. More businesses setting up or expanding in Pittsburg would in turn grow and strengthen the local economy, making it a better place to be for all our citizens.

Great Customer Service

A public power utility is part of the community – the people who work there are your fellow citizens and are invested in providing the best service. Public power companies typically score well in customer satisfaction surveys and as the community owns the utility, customers are valued.

Create New Jobs in Pittsburg

Public power utilities can create a significant number of local jobs. Opening a local utility in Pittsburg would provide employment for local residents in roles such as customer service, administration, engineering, and line-workers.

Local Control and Accountability

As public power utilities are owned by the community, citizens have the power to influence and decide how the company operates. Everything is open and public, and the utility is fully accountable to its owner-operators. This also means that any decisions made reflect local community values.

 

Environmentally-Conscious Energy

With a public power utility, it’s possible to choose to buy power from renewable energy sources. We would also have the opportunity to generate our own electricity right here in Pittsburg, and we could use an environmentally sustainable energy source as a means to do that.

Power Outages

Delivering safe, reliable electricity is a top priority for the City as we explore the advantages of public power. Public power utilities utilize mutual-aid agreements, which allow them to receive help from other communities in the event of a major outage. If the City of Pittsburg were to have a public power utility and experience an outage that required additional assistance, mutual aid communities would send linemen, trucks and equipment to help us get the power back on quickly. Electric line contractors are also available in the event of a major outage. 

What Has The City Done So Far?

A great deal of work has been done thus far to explore different electricity options for Pittsburg. 

Learn More About Public Power in Pittsburg

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date news and information as we continue our exploration into a public power utility for Pittsburg.

For more information about public power in America, visit the American Public Power Association.

American Public Power Association