Power Lines Blog

The power of women: Non-partisan legislative solutions

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As the Kansas legislative session grappled with a calamitous budget situation, tempers flared and solutions were elusive. A large contingent of women from both chambers and both parties came together and developed the framework for a workable tax plan. People want leaders who work hard to provide workable solutions for their community and are not bogged down by partisan wrangling.

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EmPowering the next generation

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As a municipal, multi-service utility, GRU takes pride in the fact that we are owned by the people we serve. Our Community Relations department is committed to advancing the values of GRU and actively participating in the betterment of our community. Camp EmPower is a free, weeklong camp for Alachua County middle-schoolers that introduces them to the fields of conservation, energy supply, energy delivery, natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications through guided tours of GRU facilities.

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Powering strong communities by giving back

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The Association’s annual Day of Giving in Orlando, Florida on June 16 is now in its tenth year. This event showcases public power’s commitment to community service and gives our National Conference attendees the opportunity to volunteer with local service projects. We hope many of you can join us. If not, maybe there’s something you can do right in your local community. Share some pictures of your community service projects on social media on June 16.

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FY 2018 budget proposal impact on public power

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President Donald Trump sent Congress a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that proposes cutting federal spending by $24 billion in 2018 and by $3.6 trillion over the next decade, while boosting federal revenues by $2.7 trillion over the same period, to bring the federal budget into balance by 2027. Overall, non-defense Department of Energy programs would be cut by $3 billion (17.5 percent) in 2018.  That average, though, masks massive cuts to specific DOE offices.

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Energizing local leaders to promote public power

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More of the utility’s revenues stay in the community to support critical city operations. Unfortunately, this fact has become lost on the public, as communities have not done a good job of communicating that message. The OMPA board of directors decided it was time initiate a multi-year Value of Public Power campaign to educate the public and legislature on the value of having their local electric utility.

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Strategic planning for community, by community

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When was the last time your customers stopped by to do a little painting or change the oil? Instead of asking our customers for some elbow grease, we asked them to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a strategic plan for the District’s next five years and beyond. No one wants to go to another meeting. But we had to change that kind of thinking and let our customers see how a strategic plan actually has an impact on their lives.

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Powering better communities: free bike share

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River Falls Municipal Utilities has led a community effort to launch a free bike share program in town on Earth Day. This is what public power can do to serve the community. We strive to improve because we’re owned and operated by people who live in this community. There will be no kilowatt hours saved nor will we deploy the latest technology. It’s simply a fun, collaborative project that just might make our town a better place and demonstrate our commitment to innovation.

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Super Bowl 50 and public power

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On the evening of December 19, 2011, the San Francisco 49ers were preparing for the final home game of the season in their 40th year in Candlestick Park. As tailgating fans began cascading into the stadium to watch their home team, a PG&E transformer exploded and the stadium went dark. Crews scrambled to get everything back to normal quickly – this was, after all, the marquee Monday Night Football game for the week – and their efforts were successful as power was restored after only delaying kickoff by 20 minutes.

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Public power = local control

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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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