Advantages of Public Power

#1: Accountability and Transparency 

PUDs are governed by an elected Board of Commissioners. Citizens have access to meetings and documents, including planning, budgets, performance and other reports. Customers know how and why decisions are made.

#2: Supporting our communities 

PUDs keep the rates citizens pay in the community by creating local jobs and improve infrastructure with surpluses. They can also make “in-lieu” payments to local governments, and provide other community services.

#3: Efficient Operations 

PUDs keep costs down through local scrutiny of operations. They focus on delivering service with low overhead, instead of paying stockholders and executives. They can partner with local government and other public utilities.

#4: Local Priorities 

When the community owns the utility, they control the utility’s priorities. Decisions about pricing, providing generation, wholesale power, and service policies are made locally and reflect the values and choices of the community.

#5: Customer Satisfaction 

PUDs are highly responsive to customers’ needs and concerns, typically getting high marks for customer satisfaction because their primary purpose is to provide efficient, reliable service to the customers in their communities.

#6: Reliability 

Public power focuses on maintenance, response, and delivering reliable power. SAIDI – average time (minutes) per year that a utility customer was without power. 

– National avg: 143 

– PSE (2014-18 avg): 158 

– Public Power (avg): 59

#7: Lower costs 

PUDs can hold rates down because: – no dividends to investors – eligible for grants, low-interest loans, & tax-exempt bonds – access to low-cost BPA power – local control means lower administrative costs

#8: Supports our local economy 

PUDs are an integral part of their community’s economy, working closely with businesses to provide reliability, service, and development assistance such as customized rates, connection fees, and key accounts programs.

#9: Energy Democracy

Integrates policies linking social justice and economic equity with renewable energy transitions. Energy demand is reduced over time, distributed generation supplies a majority of electricity, and energy sources are 100% renewable.

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