Public Power—How Nebraskans Benefit
Nebraska has the distinction of being the only state in the U.S. where every single home and business receives electric service from publicly owned utilities such as municipal utilities, electric cooperatives, or public power districts. Nebraska has 166 different community owned utilities. Across the U.S., over 2,000 publicly owned utilities serve more than 43 million people.
Lower Electric Prices
Why does this matter? Publicly owned utilities exist to serve customers. Period. There are no stockholders, and thus no profit motive. Our electric prices do not include a profit. That means Nebraska’s utilities can focus exclusively on keeping electric rates low and customer service high. Our customers, not big investors in New York and Chicago, own Nebraska’s utilities.
You can see the difference every month, in your electric bill. Our costs to generate and deliver electricity do not include a profit markup. As a result, electricity costs in Nebraska are well below the national average. Public power revenues are reinvested into the system—the power plants, substations, and transmission and distribution lines—to safely generate and deliver low-cost reliable electricity and provide outstanding customer service to all Nebraskans.
Voicing Your Opinion
Best of all, if you want to voice your opinion or share a concern, you are welcome to attend your utility’s board meeting. You can contact board members. Nebraska’s utilities want to hear from their customers—both what works and what could be improved. Every resident of Nebraska can provide input into how his or her local electric system is operated.
Public power boards and city councils consider the current and future needs of the utility’s customers. They approve operating and capital budgets to operate the utilities and increase electric reliability. They set rates for various types of customers—residential, commercial, industrial, irrigation, and wholesale. And they participate in a wide variety of programs geared to improving Nebraska’s economy and overall quality of life.
In Nebraska, the Customer Still Rules!
Customer service is our main job. It’s not something we do “when we get around to it.” We believe in doing business the way you want to do business.
And because our boards and leaders live in the communities they serve, they carefully consider the implications of the decisions they make. When Nebraska’s utilities consider making an investment or changing a procedure, they always want to know how it will affect the price of electricity and the quality of service.
This is how Nebraskans benefit from local control of their electric utilities—the main differences between publicly owned and shareholder owned utilities. These crucial differences have helped contribute to higher customer satisfaction and a better overall customer experience compared to utilities located outside Nebraska. Public power has served Nebraskans well for nearly 125 years!