Monday, February 13, 2012

Clinton: Your Hometown Public Power Utility

The City of Clinton is a hometown “public power” electric utility—a not-for-profit, community enterprise. Every day, every week, every year since the early 1900s when our electric utility operations began, the City of Clinton’s Department of Public Works has powered our days and nights.

From that morning cup of hot coffee to the late-night television news—and all the hours in-between—we keep the power flowing. 

Just a generation or two ago, people still marveled at electricity’s uses and improvements to their lives.  After all, it wasn’t until the 1940s that our country was fully electrified. 

Now we take for granted the contributions that electricity makes to America’s economy and infrastructure.  But just think about what a day without electricity would be like for you—and think how long that day would be for your children or grandchildren.

The City of Clinton’s electric system is known in the industry as a “public power” utility.  It’s one of about 2,000 utilities across the country that have been created as community-owned, hometown enterprises.  They are operated by local governments as a public service, with the mission of providing electricity in a safe, efficient, and reliable manner and with proper protection of the environment. 

The public power formula provides numerous advantages for our utility.  First, we are driven by public service, not profit.  Secondly, we exist to serve you – our fellow citizens, friends and neighbors.  Our loyalty is to our customers – not stockholders. We take pride in helping to make Clinton a good place to live and work. We are accountable to you, not to a management and board of directors in another city or country.

Unlike private utility providers, a public utility such as ours conducts all business in an open and transparent process. We follow democratic principles, with the City Council creating our utility policies. Citizens and utility customers are invited to attend a City Council meeting which occurs on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 PM in the City Council Chambers located at 404 North Broad Street.

The City of Clinton and the Department of Public Works work diligently every day to provide reliable electricity. We were recently recognized by the American Public Power Association with the RP3 award for meting high standards when it comes to safety, reliability, and long term management of our utility operations. Clinton provides highly reliable power to commercial and residential customers, and this was proven during last year’s significant ice storm when not a single Clinton utility customer lost power due to the storm.

When the power does go out, you can rest assured that our utility crews are quickly responding to the issue. Regardless of the time of day or the weather, our personnel are going to report to work and repair your distribution system. Often, our utility employees are leaving their homes and families in the dark so they can work to restore power to your home, family, and business.

You can rest assured that the City of Clinton will continue to provide reliable electricity—and deliver it to you instantaneously, day or night.   We hope we can also rest assured that you will continue to support of public power as an American tradition that works in the public interest here in Clinton, South Carolina.