Most public power utilities in the United States serve towns and cities where economic development is of utmost importance to the community. Municipal electric utilities contribute to the continued economic health of their service territories by keeping rates competitive and reliability high. We also work directly with business customers on efficient energy use to keep utility bills as low as possible.
This year and the next may be more challenging for all of us due to the financial downturn of our economy. Public power will focus even harder on helping our customers be more efficient in the use of energy. As municipally owned utilities - and especially with the knowledge and assistance of the American Public Power Association (APPA), our national trade association - we can provide a substantial amount of information to business customers on usage patterns, energy costs, energy efficiency, and communications.
In addition, public power utilities and APPA are exploring opportunities to make our electric distribution systems perform at an even higher level, becoming a "smart grid," as some are calling it. In the future, this could enable customers large and small to help immediately identify outages, provide real-time information on energy use and cost, control appliance and/or motor use to achieve higher efficiency and lower cost, and even further increase reliability.
As we develop new technologies to better serve out customers, public power will continue to provide low-cost energy and assistance to customers wherever possible to encourage businesses and industry to locate or expand in our communities.
Our mission is to ensure that public power customers have access to the most reliable and reasonably priced electricity in the United States. Public power utilities are proud to be low-cost providers of energy in their communities and strive to ensure the continued economic well-being of their customers. We believe in our customers and our communities, and are proud to serve them in the best way we can.
Chair, American Public Power Association Board of Directors
Electric Utility Director, Farmington Electric Utility System, New Mexico