The more things change, the more they stay the same

Although public power utilities have experienced a lot of change through the decades – from advances in technology that change they was they generate and manage power to how they communicate with customers – a visual journey through photos from this history show that their values and how they interact with the communities they serve continue along a common thread.

Working for the community

A worker of Taunton Municipal Light replaces a street lamp in 1939
A worker of Taunton Municipal Light replaces a street lamp in 1939
A worker with Clastkanie People's Utility District in Oregon hangs a street sign
A worker with Clatskanie People's Utility District in Oregon hangs a street sign promoting community ownership

Promoting safety

Murray City Power Hazard Hamlet
Murray City Power used this Hazard Hamlet to educate kids (and other community members) about electrical safety
Safety demonstration by electric employees in Denison, Iowa
Employees from the electric utility in Denison, Iowa give a safety demonstration to a local classroom c. 2008

Supporting energy efficiency

Ad template from 1955 about going electric
An ad template from 1955 encouraged utilities to promote electrical devices and appliances as time saving.
Ad template from 1977 about insulation
An ad template from 1977 encourages customers to update insulation to reduce their home’s energy use, “presented as a consumer service by your consumer owned electric utility”
An infographic on winter energy efficiency tips
A sample social media graphic provides some visual-driven energy saving tips as part of the materials developed for the Community Powered campaign.

Advocating for public power in Washington

Alex Radin meets President Truman
APPA Director Alex Radin and officers of the Electric Consumers Information Committee meet with President Harry Truman


Public power leaders meet with President Kennedy
Utility leaders, plus APPA Director Alex Radin (far right), meet with President John F. Kennedy


Alex Radin and Larry Hobart on the steps of the US Capitol
Alex Radin and Larry Hobart on the steps of the US Capitol


A public power delegation from South Dakota poses with Rep. Kristi Noem
Utility leaders from South Dakota meet with Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) at the 2018 Legislative Rally. Photo courtesy Heartland Consumers Power District.


Advising on energy use

Chattanooga EPB electricity fair in 1955
The Chattanooga, Tennessee Electric Power Board holds an electricity educational fair in 1954


Kissimmee Utility Authority employees educate on energy with their suncatcher solar truck
Kissimmee Utility Authority in Florida employees attend a local elementary school’s Spring Carnival with a solar energy education trailer in 2019. Photo courtesy Kissimmee Utility Authority.


Driving transportation electrification

LADWP's "volts-wagon" electric truck
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bought a battery-powered electric truck in 1967—which it named the “Volts-Wagon”—for an electric vehicle research program on operating costs and performance under L.A. conditions


The Breathe Easy Express debuts in Santa Clara, CA
Silicon Valley Power celebrates with the city of Santa Clara, California at the unveiling of the “Breathe Easy Express” — an electric bus in 2001.


PWP assistant manager Marvin Moon at the Marengo Charging Plaza
Marvin Moon, Pasadena Water and Power’s assistant general manager of power delivery, at the Marengo Charging Plaza, which opened in February 2020 and offers 44 public fast charging stations for electric vehicles. Photo courtesy Pasadena Water and Power


Advocating for community ownership

Ad template 1990s on community ownership
An ad template from a 2001 APPA campaign to
promote community ownership


social media template listing reasons why public power
A social media graphic developed for Public Power Week 2019
encourages conversation about the benefits of public power