Mayor Sandy Roberson presented a proclamation Monday to the Energy Resources department designating Oct. 3-9 as Public Power and Public Natural Gas Week during the regular City Council meeting.
The city’s electric and natural gas services are provided through the Energy Resources Department. Residents count on safe, reliable and affordable service from their electric and natural gas systems and are proud to know that their utility employees are also their friends and neighbors.
As a public power and public natural gas utility, the City of Rocky Mount is one of 2,000 electric and 1,000 natural gas utilities across the country that is publicly-owned.
Being publicly-owned means the city purchases electricity and natural gas at a wholesale cost and delivers it to customers with equipment that is owned and operated by the city, such as power poles and underground service lines. As a not-for-profit utility, revenues from electricity and natural gas sales go directly toward operating and maintaining the electric and natural gas systems.
“This is the time of year when we join utilities across the country in celebrating the positive impacts from being publicly-owned,” said Chris Beschler, director of energy resources. “For instance, policies and rates are established by officials who live and work in the community. This means the city is able to provide competitive rates for our customers. Publicly-owned utilities also experience fewer outages and faster restoration times. These are some of the hallmarks of being a Public Power and Public Natural Gas provider.”
The City of Rocky Mount currently has 89 positions in the Energy Resources department that operate 748 miles of electric distribution lines and 556 miles of natural gas service lines that serve the city’s residential and commercial customers.
In 2021, the city was presented with the System Operational Achievement Recognition award by the American Public Gas Association for the city’s excellence in operating its natural gas utility. Out of 750 APGA members, Rocky Mount was selected as one of three gas utilities to receive the Gold level SOAR award.
Rocky Mount has also been recognized by the American Public Power Association (APPA) as a Reliable Public Power Provider for providing outstanding reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. It is one of 27 public power communities in North Carolina to receive this special designation — more than any other state.
Customers are invited to join the Energy Resources department in celebrating Public Power and Public Natural Gas Week at the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Rocky Mount. Energy Resources representatives will be on the corner of Hammond and South Church streets.
Free family activities will be available, including information about electric and natural gas services, kids activities and Plinko. Customers who play Plinko could be entered in a drawing for $100 off their utility bill.