Celebrating Public Power Week

By: Charles Nichols - Focus on Scotland

You are one of 45 million people in the United States – and one of the 1.2 million people in North Carolina – who receive power from a publicly owned utility like the city of Laurinburg Electric Department. Many advantages come from having a locally owned and operated electric utility, including local jobs and an emphasis on economic development. In celebration of Public Power Week (October 1-7), I’d like to share with you the value that public power delivers to the city of Laurinburg.

Exceptional reliability

If there is one trait that defines public power communities, it’s a focus on providing safe and reliable power. That is the foundation of everything we do and we do it well. Laurinburg and other public power communities provide more reliable service than most major utilities and respond quickly when outages do occur.

With local crews located right around the corner, we can get your power restored faster than large utilities that serve customers across the state and beyond. If a major storm hits, we receive immediate help from other public power communities across North Carolina to get your power restored.

North Carolina public power customers were recently polled and they were very pleased with the services they were provided. The highest marks received were for reliable service, which came in at 93 percent. Reliability has always been a trademark of public power.

Superior service

It’s reassuring to be able to pick up the phone and know the person you are calling is located right down the street. That’s the case in the city of Laurinburg. The members of our customer service team are your neighbors, and they are here to answer your questions or help resolve any issues you are having with your electric service.

One of the greatest advantages of living in a public power community is that our electric operations are locally controlled. That gives us greater flexibility to address local needs and respond to your concerns.

Public power customers greatly value the service provided by their municipality. In fact, when polled, seven out of 10 customers said they would choose public power if they were given a choice.

Economic development

A big part of our job is helping the community grow and prosper by supporting economic development activities. Whenever a new company locates here, it’s good for our business and our employees who live here.

Our reliable power supply, combined with exceptional customer service and competitive industrial rates, can play an important role in recruiting companies to locate here.

“Over the past year the industries in the city of Laurinburg have experience growth and stability. Companies such as FCC announced a $1 million expansion with plans to add 25 jobs, Service Thread undertook a remodel to enhance their property and we’ve seen several new retail customers choose to make Laurinburg their home,” says Mark Ward, economic development director. “I am thankful for the city of Laurinburg’s continued efforts to provide reliable, responsive electric service and for their assistance with attracting Industries and Businesses.”

In addition, public power communities are always looking for ways to generate cost savings for their customers. Back in 2015, the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA), which Laurinburg is a part of, reached an agreement to sell some of its electric assets to Duke Energy. That agreement significantly reduced NCEMPA’s debt, which led to 7 percent rate reduction for residents of Laurinburg, putting money back in our community

As we prepare to celebrate Public Power Week, we thank you for allowing us to serve you and pledge to continue being powered by excellence and fueled by commitment.

Charles Nichols

Focus on Scotland

Charles Nichols, Laurinburg city manager, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders to make Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.

Charles Nichols, Laurinburg city manager, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders to make Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.