Stats and Facts

Public power utilities are one of three primary types of electric utilities that serve customers in the United States.

Public power utilities are:

  • Not for profit
  • Community-owned
  • Locally controlled

One in seven Americans are served by a public power utility. More than 2,000 communities – in 49 states and 5 U.S. territories – have a public power utility.

As a whole, public power utilities have lower rates than other types of electric utilities.

  • Residential customers of public power utilities pay 13% less than customers of investor-owned utilities – for the average U.S. household, that’s $176.79 saved each year or about $15 per month.
  • See state by state rates

Public power utilities also deliver more reliable electric service.

  • Outside of major adverse events (e.g., storms), customers of a public power utility are likely to be without power for less time - 74 minutes a year, compared to 136 minutes a year for customers of private utilities.

10% of electricity generated in the U.S. is from public power facilities.

  • In 2017, more than 40% of this electricity was generated from non-carbon emitting sources
  • Public power reduced its carbon emissions by 33% from 2005 to 2017

Find more data on electricity generation and generating capacity in the Public Power Statistical Report and America’s Generating Capacity report

Public power supports strong local economies.

Public power utilities generate more than $58 billion in annual revenue and invest more than $2 billion annually directly back into the community.

Public power utilities invest this revenue back into their communities through:

  • Payments in lieu of taxes
  • Providing hometown jobs
  • Offering free or reduced cost electric services
  • Supporting local causes and charities

Read more about how public power gives back to communities.

Public power utilities employ 93,000 people in hometown jobs. Read why these employees should be paid competitively to maintain public power’s advantages.

Reports

Get more data about public power and electric utilities in the following reports.