Forming a New Public Power Utility

Public power's hometown advantages – lower rates, commitment to local communities, not-for-profit operations, public accountability, local decision-making, and full attention to customer service – have become readily apparent as the electric utility industry restructures.

In the last few years many Americans have become interested in establishing new publicly owned electric utilities in their communities. At the same time, citizens served by existing public power utilities have a renewed appreciation of the benefits of owning and operating their own electric utilities.

Benefits of Public Power

Public power today is an important, contemporary American institution. From small towns to big cities, wherever public power exists, it is an expression of the American ideal of local people working together to meet local needs. It is an expression of the local control that is at the heart of our federalism system.

Public power is also a strong competitive force that provides a "yardstick" for consumers and regulators to measure the performance and rates of private power companies. This continuous competition helps all electric consumers, not just those served by public power. Learn more

Download Benefits of Public Power (from Public Power for Your Community)

Public Power for Your Community

APPA's guide, Public Power for Your Community, is designed to help you understand what public power is; how public power utilities benefit the communities they serve; and the steps for forming a new public power utilit. 

The guide also discusses common ways that an incumbent utility will respond to attempts to create a new public power utility, and responds to common myths, misinformation, and false charges about public power that you may hear as you explore creating a new utility.

To request a copy of the complete publication, including the Myths and Misinformation chapter, contact Ursula Schryver, APPA Vice President for Education and Customer Programs.

Additional Resources

Survey of State Municipalization Laws

This Survey of State Municipalization Laws examines and summarizes each of the 50 state’s laws on the issues of whether municipalities have the legal authority to acquire, own and operate an electric utility, and, in the case where a municipality acquires the facilities of an incumbent utility, the laws that determine the price to be paid.

Public Power Costs Less

For more information contact Ursula Schryver, APPA Vice President for Education and Customer Programs