Why are electric bills in Newport so much cheaper than in Lincoln City?
The reason Newport electric bills are substantially cheaper than in Lincoln City is that Newport is served by a PUBLIC entity. Lincoln City residents are served by a CORPORATION. Central Lincoln PEOPLES Utility District operates like a non-profit, charging only what’s necessary to maintain and expand the electrical system which means lower bills. Private CORPORATIONS like Pacific Power serving Lincoln City not only charge to maintain and expand the local system, but also to pay their private shareholders who expect a good return on their money – even though most of those shareholders couldn’t find Lincoln City on a map if their lives depended on it.
Much of America’s history with electricity has been split between utilities operated for maximum profit (corporate owned) versus those who operate for maximum service (public owned). And in many communities nationwide, residents under private utilities have been able to flip them into public controlled utilities. It’s a long and interesting history and is worth every citizen’s attention to determine if such a conversion move makes financial sense for their area. To be sure, private utilities have been vigorously fighting these movements, making it too expensive for citizens to gain control of their local systems. Again, it makes for interesting reading in that behind all of that is a defining question as to whether a VITAL service should even be in the hands of those whose primary goal is profit rather than service. Fire, police, courts, roads, bridges, K-12 education and others are all publicly run because the country couldn’t exist without them. But medical care and electricity have yet to FULLY come under the microscope. Public sector involvement with medical care is just now coming under that microscope. Not so much electricity. But without public utilities around like Central Lincoln PUD, one can only imagine what it might be costing us to simply turn on a lamp. Of course with the advent of low cost solar and break-through designs for storage batteries coming on line, areas with moderate to abundant sunshine might soon be telling their local utility, private or public, to take a hike.
Having said all that, Central Lincoln PUD is celebrating their years of providing power at more affordable prices. Here’s their public invitation to everyone in their service area, which is a big chunk of the central coast, to attend this celebration.
Central Lincoln PUD Celebrating Public Power Week
Provided by CLPUD
The Central Lincoln People’s Utility District will highlight Public Power Week October 5-11, along with more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that together provide electricity to 47 million Americans nationwide. Central Lincoln serves parts of Coos, Douglas, Lane, and Lincoln counties, including the cities of Depoe Bay, Dunes City, Florence, Lakeside, Newport, Reedsport, Siletz, Toledo, Waldport, and Yachats on Oregon’s Central Coast.
“Public Power Week celebrates reliable, affordable electricity for the communities we serve,” said Debra Smith, Central Lincoln’s General Manager. “Publicly-owned electric utilities such as Central Lincoln put their customers first. Public Power Week gives us the chance to tell people about the advantages of locally-controlled electric utilities. We take great pride in the high-quality, reasonably-priced service we offer our customers safely and reliably, and we have done so since 1943. Our electricity is 96% carbon-free, helping to keep Oregon’s air clean.”
Central Lincoln invites customers to visit Central Lincoln’s offices next week for coffee and cookies, and to learn about the utility’s new services, including electronic billing and payments, (MyAccount Online) and customized use information (MyMeter). Presenters will be available at the following offices on the following days:
Florence: October 6 and 7, 966 Highway 101
Reedsport: October 8, 440 Fir Avenue
Newport: October 9 and 10, 2129 N. Coast Highway (across from Safeway)