You Own and Control Us!

Jamey Pankoke General Manager

Jamey Pankoke
General Manager

Celebrating Public Power Month provides us an opportunity to remind you of the advantages that public power offers. Being the only state in the nation where every electric utility is publicly owned certainly gives Nebraska an accolade that no other state can claim.  Why is this important? It’s important because unlike many private utilities that include profit in their price of electricity to satisfy stockholders, public power only exists to serve customers. Having this as our sole focus helps in keeping electric rates low and customer service high.

Electricity costs in Nebraska are well below the national average of 10.28 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration the average price of electricity in Nebraska was 9.90 cents. Although the state’s ranking has slipped a bit from what it was years ago, public power still provides a great value. For the record, last year Perennial’s average price per kilowatt-hour was 8.94 cents. And although we are just in the process of working on our 2018 Work Plan and  Budget, at the present time it appears that we once again will not need to increase electric rates. If this turns out to be the case, it will make five consecutive years that our customers have gone without a rate increase. Remember, as a publicly owned company, keeping your electric rates low is a primary focus of ours.

Nothing probably gives our employees more satisfaction than knowing that customers are pleased with the service that they have received from us. As just one example, we often receive thank-you notes from customers following storms and the restoration of widespread power outages. We make sure that these notes get pinned to our bulletin boards, as I truly believe that it gives our employees satisfaction knowing that they served our customers well, and were recognized for it.

However, keeping electric rates low and providing a high level of customer service are really side benefits of public power. In my mind, the most  important distinction of public power is that you own and control us! You are in control of who runs Perennial. In election years you have the chance to vote for who will represent you on the board of directors, or for that matter, run for the board yourself. And because our directors are customers of ours who live and work in the communities that we serve, they always consider how their decisions will impact fellow customers, whether it is in the price of electricity or the quality service.

As an owner of a public power district that has control of our operations through locally elected directors, you can be assured that we will continue to focus on providing you low-cost, reliable and excellent service. The aspect of customer ownership and control is what sets us apart from much of the
country, and it’s a cause for celebration.