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
- 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 11% 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
- Average revenue per kilowatt-hour, 2019 (member access only)
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 - 75 minutes a year, compared to 142 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 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.
Get more data about public power and electric utilities in the following reports.
- 2020 Public Power Statistical Report
- 100 largest public power utilities by generation
- 100 largest public power utilities by revenue
- 100 largest public power utilities by customers
- 100 largest public power utilities by megawatt-hour sales
- Public Power data by state
- 2019 Retail Electric Rates in Regulated and Deregulated States
- 2015 Governance Survey