Newton celebrates Public Power Week Oct. 6-12

NEWTON, NC (Oct. 4, 2013) – The week of October 6-12 is the annual Public Power Week, an opportunity for public utilities to highlight the value of their municipal electric system.

More than 45 million people in the United States receive power from a publicly-owned utility, including large cities such as Los Angeles, Orlando and Portland. In North Carolina, more than 70 communities own and operate their systems, serving more than 500,000 people. Newton has approximately 4,500 electric customers.

The history of public power in North Carolina goes back to the late 19th century, when cities and towns from the mountains to the coast formed their own utilities to generate power for streetlights. Statesville was the first public power community, illuminating its streets in 1889, followed shortly thereafter by the City of Newton in 1896. Throughout the early part of the 20th century, the demand for electricity grew as new electric appliances changed the way American homes operated. Public power communities shifted from delivering electricity to a few businesses in the downtown area to providing electric service to homes, business and industry throughout the town.

During Public Power Week, many cities hold community celebrations, featuring energy-efficiency programs, demonstrations and family activities. A Public Power Week display will also be set up in the lobby at Newton City Hall to provide valuable educational materials for Newton’s electric customers. Throughout the year, City of Newton electric employees visit area North Newton, South Newton and Startown elementary schools to promote public power, electric safety and energy efficiency.

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