Why Public Power


Templeton Municipal Light and Water Plant

Public power utilities are non-profit, community-owned and locally operated electric systems that typically provide lower electric rates and better service to customers.

The consumer-owned, municipal utilities of Massachusetts serve approximately 380,000 customers in all or parts of 48 cities and towns with a total population of about 850,000. Together, municipal utilities deliver about 13 percent of the electricity used in Massachusetts. Nationally, there are more than 2,200 consumer-owned utilities, which collectively are called public power systems because they are publicly owned and operated.

The primary difference between municipal utilities and private, investor-owned utilities (IOUs) is that municipal utilities use all customer payments to provide low-cost electric service or meet other community needs. Private utilities are in business to earn a profit for their stockholders, as well as to deliver electricity, which means that customer payments are used in part to pay stockholders all over the country.

Public Power benefits include:

  • High reliability
  • Low rates
  • Local rate-setting authority
  • Local service and repair crews
  • Strong focus on community needs
  • Accessible utility management
For more information on public power, explore the website of the American Public Power Association.