Publicly-owned power is a phrase that refers to electric utilities that are owned by their customers.  This classification covers two of the three sectors comprising the electric utility industry, municipally-owned and cooperative utilities—the third sector is the investor-owned utilities. Publicly-owned utilities, including all of Blue Ridge’s members, have the following characteristics:

  • Use a not-for-profit business model
  • Owned, governed and operated by the customers—“local control”
  • The loyalty and service mission is to it’s customers (fellow citizens, friends, neighbors) and not stockholders
  • Utility, governing body and staff are accountable to the customer-owner, not to a management and board of directors in another city, state or country
  • The electric system is reliable and service response during power outages or at customer request are timely and efficient
  • Retail electric rates are competitive with and often lower than private utilities’ rates