By Bobbie Osterberg, Alexandria Mayor
What literally powers the City of Alexandria and keeps us all connected? ALP Utilities of course! The municipally owned utility, founded in 1889, provides electricity and water to the residents of the city. Local visionaries founded the utility just seven years after Thomas Edison started up the Pearl Street Power Station in New York City. Alexandria’s locally owned, operated, not-for-profit utility provides unique benefits for its customer-owners.
Communities are powered by one of three types of electric utilities. They are a cooperative, an investor-owned or a municipally owned public power utility like ALP Utilities.
Investor-owned utilities are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). As a public power utility, ALP is governed by a local board of directors. Board members are appointed by the Alexandria City Council. They live and work here. The board makes policy and strategic decisions affecting the utility. Revenues are generated from the sale of electricity and water. Profits are re-invested into the operational and capital needs of the business and the community. Nothing exemplifies “Buy Local” more than being powered by a municipally owned utility.
Affordable rates and reliability are performance indicators used to measure the success and effectiveness of all three types of providers. ALP Utility customers with a monthly residential usage of 750 kwh/month would pay $79.75/month. The customer of the investor-owned utility would pay 17% more and the customer of the cooperative would pay 46% more than the ALP Utilities customer. The cost to provide electricity is a factor when determining rates. ALP Utilities has consistently demonstrated public power’s ability to provide low cost, highly reliable service.
There are 2,000 public power utilities in the United States. According to the American Public Power Association e-reliability tracker, ALP’s 2020 average outage time was 12 minutes, compared to the industry average of 139 minutes. Significant investments of time and capital are made each year to ensure ALP’s award-winning standard of reliability is maintained at a low cost to the customer-owner.
ALP Utilities fun facts:
- Utility crews place, remove, repair and store the festive Christmas street decorations each holiday season.
- $18,000+ in scholarships have been awarded through the LeRoy Meyer Memorial Scholarship to graduating seniors that live in the ALP service area.
- ALP contributes nearly $1,000,000 annually to the city budget as a payment in lieu of taxes. This directly reduces property tax.
- 2022 marks the third consecutive year with no electrical rate increase.
- ALP Utilities buys solar, water, wind, natural gas, coal and nuclear generated electricity to power Alexandria. The diverse mix allows ALP to provide electricity that is 83% carbon-free and 39% renewable.
- Customers may elect to have 100% renewable power through participation in the Bright Energy Choices program. This program is optional and supports 100 % clean and carbon free electricity to the home or business. Customers find the cost of participation to be a great value when considering environmental impact.
- Over $2,900,000 in rebates have been distributed to ALP customers through the Bright Energy Solutions program. Rebates are earned by purchasing energy efficient equipment such as Energy Star LED lighting and appliances, electric vehicle chargers and heating and cooling equipment. Commercial customers qualify for rebates and have additional categories such as electric forklifts, compressed air and commercial refrigeration.
- To keep an eye on Big Ole go to www.alputilities.com/big-ole-webcam.
As our city looks forward to the bright future of energy, the locally managed, highly reliable ALP Utilities will continue to play an important role in keeping us connected and making Alexandria the place people choose. To learn more about ALP Utilities: www.alputilities.com or 320-763-6501 or [email protected]
by Sara Stadtherr
Sara is the Communications Coordinator for the city of Alexandria. She is committed to the residents of Alexandria. Feel free to reach out to her for any reason, she would be happy to hear from you. To contact Sara, please email [email protected] or call 320-759-3607.
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