September 26, 2023
The first week of October is Public Power Week—an observance that holds special significance for Starkville Utilities and 2,000 other community-powered, not-for-profit electric utilities that specialize in providing reliable, affordable, sustainable service to millions of customers across the U.S.
“This year, we’re focusing on the importance of planning and building for the future and making sure Starkville is served by a world-class electrical system,” said Edward Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “In addition to taking care of day-to-day needs, we’re always working toward long-term goals and taking a proactive approach to serve Starkville’s growth.”
During Public Power Week Oct. 1-7, Starkville Utilities is raising awareness about the many ways the community benefits from a publicly owned and controlled service provider, including affordable rates, high reliability, customer responsiveness and local investments that fuel growth.
Through the Future FOCUS initiative, Starkville Utilities continues investing in projects to modernize and enhance Starkville’s electrical infrastructure. Current upgrades include Highway 182/Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor revitalization and the completion of a fiber loop connecting all system substations.
Routine tree trimming and preventive maintenance programs also play key roles in boosting system reliablity, which has exceeded 99% over the last several years.
Helping customers save energy and money is another focus area. Through “Beat the Heat” and “Warm In, Winter Out” initiatives, Starkville Utilities provides tips to increase efficiency and lower bills, and customers can choose from a variety of bill payment and account management options that optimize convenience, control and cost savings.
Customers also benefit from Starkville Utilities’ partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority and mutual assistance agreements that provide support during major outage events. After a devastating tornado struck Amory earlier this year, Starkville Utilities joined several other providers in TVA’s public power network to help rebuild the city’s electrical infrastructure.
“The fact that we’re part of a public power model that emphasizes local control and ownership, as well as assistance in times of need, is a strength,” Kemp said. “We’re members of the community we serve, and responding to customers is our top priority. It’s a simple yet effective model that has served us well for many years and positions Starkville for future success.”
Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.
Public Power Week is an annual national observance coordinated by the American Public Power Association. The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. The Association represents public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. It advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations. Its members strengthen their communities by providing superior service, engaging citizens, and instilling pride in community-owned power. More at www.PublicPower.org.