Albemarle celebrates Public Power Week

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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As a member of ElectriCities of North Carolina, Albemarle will celebrate “Public Power Week” Oct. 2-6 with a number of activities.

ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., is the membership organization that provides power supply and related critical services to more than 90 community-owned electric systems in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — collectively known as public power.

“We are community-owned and customer-focused,” said Albemarle Public Utilities Director Jay Voyles in announcing the upcoming events at the Oct. 2 City Council meeting.

“In addition, we provide power as a not-for-profit service, which allows us to provide it at a lower cost,” said Voyles, citing statistics to prove the point. “For example, a 1,500 kilowatt-hour power bill at a residence served by public power would cost about $159.75. At our two closest competitors, the cost would be $180.90 and $188.90,” he said.

Reliability is another advantage of public power, Voyles said, noting that when the power does go out, the average outage for a public power customer is 57.6 minutes.

“At our competitors, it can range from 59 minutes to as much as 142 minutes on the average,” he said, adding that outages are less frequent in areas served by public power as well.

Voyles also noted a number of projects and investments under way and recently completed which improve service to Albemarle customers.

“These include advanced metering, improvements at the Carolina Avenue Substation, clearing of primary electric rights-of-way by a dedicated Asplundh crew, and reconditioning of power lines along U.S. 52 and N.C. 73.”

A partnership between the Public Utilities Department and Stanly Community College also helps provide training and instruction for students in the Electrical Lineworker program.

“Most students in this program graduate with a job,” said Voyles.

Voyles closed by listing a number of events scheduled for the week:

● Oct. 4
○ 9-11:30 am: Endy Elementary Grades 2-3 – Utility Truck/Equipment Demo

● Oct. 5
○ 9-11:30 am: Millingport Elementary Grades 2-3 – Utility Truck/Equipment Demo

● Oct. 6
○ 11:30 am-12:30 pm: Public Power Celebratory Lunch
○ 5 pm at Food Truck Friday – Utility Truck/Equipment Demo, Picture with a Lineworker, Gift Bags

For further information on Public Power, go to