GRDA Power For Progress Column September 23, 2019

Sep 25, 2019

The benefits of public power …

When municipalities from all across the state of Oklahoma came together last week for a conference in Tulsa, the Grand River Dam Authority was there to join them.
The event was actually the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) Annual Conference, a gathering of Oklahoma city and town officials and others who play an active role in helping support and govern the many communities, large and small in Oklahoma. Joining with the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) and the Oklahoma Municipal Alliance, GRDA was there to help tell the story of “Oklahoma public power” and the important role it plays in many of these communities.
Today, one of out every ten communities in the state is a public power community. That means the local electric distribution system is owned and operated locally, by the municipality. It also means that local resources are matched to meet local needs. Meanwhile, other benefits of public power utilities include competitive rates, high reliability, customer responsiveness, local economic development and, of course, a strong focus on the local community.
Next week (October 6-12) is recognized as National Public Power Week by the American Public Power Association (APPA). GRDA is joining with APPA and the 2,000 public power systems across the nation (including 60-plus in Oklahoma) to recognize all the benefits that come along with these not-for-profit utilities that exist to serve the needs of their hometowns.

Of course, the bottom line is often the dollars. And even then, the benefits of public power are strong. In fact, the 15 Oklahoma public power utilities that purchase their wholesale electricity from GRDA, then resell it to end-users across their respective communities, combined to return nearly $35 million to their city general funds on annual basis. All of that is done at no cost to taxpayers. Those are real dollars that can then be used to support other city services, like police and fire protection, streets and park maintenance

In other words, public power also enhances quality of life in Oklahoma hometowns.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.

Photo Caption Information: Delivering public power … GRDA high-voltage power lines cross the Oklahoma landscape near Lake Hudson. The GRDA energy delivery systems supplies reliable, abundant electricity to 15 public power communities in the state, as well as other customers.

Justin Alberty
Vice President of Corporate Communications
Grand River Dam Authority
(918) 256 5545