Power Lines Blog

Increased Electricity Rates: Fallout of “Competition” in Electric Markets


After nearly two decades of retail and wholesale electric market restructuring, the promise of reduced rates has failed to materialize. In fact, customers in states with retail choice programs located within RTO-operated markets are now paying more for their electricity. The details are in a new report, 2014 Retail Electric Rates in Deregulated and Regulated States.

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Power with Purpose: A Postcard from the Strategic Planning Trip

Power with Purpose

It’s been a very hectic — and exciting — ride on APPA’s strategic planning journey to date. We’ve been busy studying the landscape, navigating uneven roads and heavy traffic, and preparing for the next stop. Weather permitting, we are scheduled to announce APPA’s strategic plan at our National Conference, after board approval.

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Municipal Bond Tax Exemption Is Critical to Affordable Electricity


As tax reform gets a closer look on Capitol Hill, it is vital that federal lawmakers not alter or eliminate the current tax exemption for municipal bonds, given the significant role that these bonds play in allowing public power and other entities to make critical infrastructure investments, the American Public Power Association (APPA) and two other public power groups said in April 2015.

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Diversity Rules America’s Electricity Portfolio through 2020


Currently, America has just over 1.1 million megawatts of generation capacity. The largest fuel source is natural gas, accounting for nearly 42 percent of all generation capacity. Coal, with a share of nearly 28 percent of capacity, is the second largest generation source. Nuclear, hydro, and wind together account for 23 percent of capacity. Solar currently constitutes less than one percent of all capacity.

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Taking the Power Back: Public Power Utilities Empower Customers


The reasons communities explore the public power or the municipalization option vary from year to year and from community to community. Ultimately, it’s about having local control over a community’s energy future. Communities pursue public power to reduce rates, increase reliability, or provide better customer service.

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The Top 3 Myths of a Key Accounts Program

Top 3 Key Accounts Myths

Public power utilities serve a community’s residential and commercial customers. A utility may designate some large commercial and industrial customers as “key accounts” because they have a big impact on the utility and community through large consumption of energy or water, substantial job creation capabilities, a significant tax base and revenue stream for the community, or political or strategic influence.

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A “Net Zero” Building Is Good, A “Net Zero” Community Is Great

net zero communities

Many public power communities have strongly committed to energy resources that are more sustainable and sensitive to the environment. And some have invested in pilot programs that explore the idea of “net zero” buildings — that produce as much or more energy than they consume on a net basis over the course of a year.

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Smart Electricity Meters = More Customers Served

smart electricity meters equals more customers served

What are smart meters? Smart meters are digital meters that replace the old analog meters used in homes and businesses to record electricity use. Smart meters can transmit energy use information back to the utility quickly and often, without requiring a visit by a human meter reader. Smart meters can also notify the utility of a power outage.

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