The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District

The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District

How Does That Work?

Public power

January 4, 2016 | Laura King-Homan | how does that work, industry, public power

Nebraska is the only state in the country where its residents receive electricity service entirely from public power utilities. These utilities set rates based on the costs of serving different customer classes. The classes are made up of customers who consume similar amounts of electricity and follow similar daily, weekly and seasonal usage patterns.


Local control is a key benefit of public power. With this system, Nebraskans:

  • Elect individuals who are ultimately responsible for setting rates and strategic policies
  • Have access to open meetings conducted by the governing authorities of the state’s utilities
  • Have multiple opportunities to provide input to decisions made by their local utility

Public power serves one in seven electricity customers in the U.S. – or 48 million people.

In comparison, OPPD is the ninth-largest public power utility in megawatt-hour sales and the eighth-largest in power generation.

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a brand journalism strategist at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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