CEO’s Report: Shop local for electricity

October 4, 2016

Finding the value in public power

We all know there are many good reasons to shop locally. Not only do business owners benefit, but so does the community as a whole.

Spending money at the local grocery store, hardware store or gas station gives us a sense of pride in contributing to the well-being of our neighbors. It also puts money directly back into the local economy.

Many people in public power communities may not realize they are buying their electricity from a local, customer-owned, not-for-profit utility. As we celebrate Public Power Week, it’s a good time to remind your customers of the value your local utility provides to the community, just like any other local business.

Public power builds stronger communities

Locally owned businesses sustain vibrant Main Streets, contribute to local causes, support local schools and create jobs. The same is true for public power.

Public power utilities are supported by customer revenues which pay for maintenance and reinvestments in important infrastructure needs. Public power also creates local jobs.

Public power utilities give back

Locally owned businesses typically support other local businesses and pour a greater share of their revenue back into the local economy. They are good neighbors and so is public power.

On average, public power utilities return to state and local governments in-lieu-of-tax payments and other contributions that are 31 percent greater than state and local taxes paid by private power companies.

Public power utilities are committed to conservation, environmental stewardship and safety. They work to meet the needs of long-term community goals.

Public power decisions are made locally

Local business owners make decisions based on what they see in the community, in their store and on how it will have an effect locally. In public power, decisions are also made locally, by elected officials and employees of the utility.

Decisions aren’t made with stockholders in mind. They’re made with people in mind because public power is customer-focused.

Public power utilities offer hometown values

Locally owned businesses are typically distinct and offer one-of-a-kind products and friendly, hometown service. Each public power utility is different, reflecting its hometown characteristics and values, but all have a common purpose of providing reliable and safe electricity.

Public power gives people a voice

Community citizens have a direct and powerful voice in utility decisions and policies, both at the ballot box and in open meetings where business is conducted. Public power utilities work collectively to ensure policies are enacted that put customers first and ensure a stable supply of electricity while protecting the environment.

Public power is year-round

It’s important to remember the benefits public power provides not only during Public Power Week, but year-round. Heartland is proud to be a public power provider and to partner with our customers to offer valuable services to the communities we serve.

Take a moment this week to think about the value your utility provides the community and share those thoughts with others.

Every public power utility needs a cheerleader and Public Power Week is the perfect time to cheer.