It’s National Public Power Week and the Florida Municipal Electric Association is using the annual event to highlight the investments public power companies make in their communities.
“The primary focus of every public power utility is their customers and the community they serve. As locally owned and locally operated utilities, our employees aren’t just employees — they are a part of the community and the people they serve are family, friends and neighbors,” FMEA Executive Director Amy Zubaly said. “In order to do their part toward building stronger communities, public power utilities make all kinds of investments that benefit the people and places where they live.”
The association, which represents 33 of Florida’s public utilities, cited investments in new distribution, transmission and generation infrastructure and technologies to improve reliability and keep the power flowing.
Public utilities have also made significant investments in clean energy, such as solar power, and on research and development.
But utility infrastructure is just one part of the equation.
FMEA also noted that public power companies are making investments in people — FMEA members employ a combined 5,000 Floridians, and those workers contribute to a strong economy where dollars made are spent in the local community.
Public utilities are also a key revenue source for local governments, providing funding for critical services, such as law enforcement and firefighting.
FMEA said not-for-profit public power utilities offer many benefits to the communities and customers they serve because they are locally owned, locally controlled and locally operated. Residents in public power communities can depend on affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible power. They also have control of their energy future because they have a say in the decisions made about their local electric utility.
According to FMEA, one in seven Americans receive their electricity from a public power utility. There are 2,000 public power communities across the country, which employ 93,000 people. Florida has 33 public power utilities that serve more than 3 million people and employ more than 5,000 Floridians.
Since 1986, Public Power Week has recognized during the first full week of October to celebrate the importance of public power utilities and inform members of the communities they serve how they can better engage with their utility and benefit from its offerings.