NEWTON, N.C. – The week of October 4-10 is the annual Public Power Week, an opportunity for Newton and other public power communities to highlight the value of their municipal electric system.
Public power illuminates the homes and workplaces of more than 1.2 million people living in 70 communities across North Carolina, including Newton. Newton is a member of ElectriCities, an organization that brings these communities together to share knowledge to help make public power safer and more reliable.
Public power is a municipally owned and operated electric service. In public power communities, residents receive power from the city, not an investor-owned utility like Duke Power. Most public power communities in North Carolina have been in the business for more than 100 years. Public power communities are known for providing excellent, local customer service and highly-reliable electric service.
The history of public power in North Carolina goes back to the late 1800s, 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 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, businesses and industries throughout the town.
Today, about 4,800 customers receive electric power from the City of Newton. Revenue from electricity sales stays in the community. All of the city’s electric power customers benefit from local customer service, quick storm response and superior reliability. Customers have a voice in the activities of their electric system, and because the city sets its own policies, customers can speak directly to elected officials and city staff about electric power issues.
Public power communities in North Carolina include Statesville, Morganton, Cornelius, Wake Forest, New Bern and Southport. Nationwide, approximately 2,000 public power communities serve more than 48 million Americans.
Newton will have a display in the lobby at City Hall to celebrate Public Power Week. Drop by to enter a raffle for Public Power Week thermoses, T-shirts, tote bags and more. To learn more about how public power brings value to Newton and North Carolina communities, visit OverOneMillionStrong.com.