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American Public Power Association: A Smart Way to Deliver Power

Public power communities plug into smart grid technology.

Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble (Winter 2011)
(page 4 of 4)
Public Power and Economic Development
It's not uncommon for utilities to take an interest in economic development. A growing customer base is good for any power business. Public power systems tend to have close ties to their communities' economic development efforts, especially since utilities and development offices sometimes overlap in local government, and could be neighbors in the same building.

"The utility is a very vital player in attracting business to the area," says Myers in Ponca City. "Utility rates are kept low, with a recognition that the needs of businesses and residents must be kept in harmony for a prosperous local economy."

"EPB plays several roles in the economic development of the region, both in terms of supplying electric and communications infrastructure, and in assisting prospective businesses to understand and select the best rates, and by providing the needed infrastructure to meet the most ambitious construction schedules," says DePriest in Chattanooga.

Enhancing Chattanooga's quality of life is central to the utility's mission. "Developing the local economy is a major part of this process," DePriest says. "By concentrating on reasonable electric rates, high reliability, and the most powerful fiber-based broadband network in the country, EPB can utilize its technical strengths for the good of the entire community."

More About Public Power
The American Public Power Association serves the country's more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, which together serve more than 45 million Americans. Find lists of and links to public power communities, along with information about doing business in a public power community, at the organization's website, www.publicpower.org.
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