News & Events
Stay up-to-date on the latest news and events happening in North Carolina’s public power communities.
2015 NC Public Power Awards of Excellence Announced
October 19, 2015
Twenty public power communities across the state recently received 2015 Public Power Awards of Excellence. The awards honor outstanding efforts in key areas such as creating a competitive business environment, legislative involvement on public power issues, customer service programs and community energy efficiency promotion. Awards presentations will be made to the local communities this fall.
“We are proud to honor NC Public Power communities through the Awards of Excellence process,” said Graham Edwards, CEO of ElectriCities of North Carolina. “Each day, public power communities strive to bring jobs and investment to their communities, provide superior service to customers and offer highly-reliable electric service. These hard-working employees and leaders are dedicated to the tradition of public power and the 1.2 million citizens we serve in North Carolina.”
Competitive Business Environment
The Competitive Business Environment award recognizes efforts by the city to create a strong business climate, including economic development planning and community/regional partnering, an online economic development presence and focus on key accounts customers. Farmville, Fayetteville PWC, Granite Falls, Greenville Utilities, High Point, Kings Mountain, Kinston, Lexington, Rocky Mount, Shelby, Tarboro and Wilson.
The Energy Efficiency award recognizes efforts with energy-efficient building programs, energy education, energy audits and weatherization programs. Concord, Fayetteville PWC, Granite Falls, Greenville Utilities, High Point, Kings Mountain, Kinston, Lexington, Maiden, Newton, Rocky Mount, Shelby, Smithfield, Statesville, Tarboro and Wilson.
The Financial Stability award recognizes customer options throughout the billing process, including: equal payment programs, alternate payment methods such as online billing and payment, credit card payments and multiple payment locations. This award also recognizes community partnerships to help customers in need and the implementation of new technology within the electric system. Clayton, Concord, Farmville, Fayetteville PWC, Granite Falls, Greenville Utilities, High Point, Kings Mountain, Kinston, Lexington, Maiden, New Bern, Newton, Rocky Mount, Shelby, Smithfield, Tarboro and Wilson.
The Legislative Involvement award recognizes city staff and officials’ involvement in the legislative process on issues pertaining to public power. The award recognizes city officials actively engaging with their legislative delegation and participation in ElectriCities-sponsored events. Fayetteville PWC, Granite Falls, Greenville Utilities, High Point, Kings Mountain, Rocky Mount, Tarboro and Wilson.
The Service Excellence award recognizes outstanding efforts by the city to communicate with customers through advertisements, online resources, social media or other community-based methods. The award also addresses emergency communications and community public power celebrations. Benson, Concord, Farmville, Fayetteville PWC, Granite Falls, Greenville Utilities, High Point, Kings Mountain, Kinston, Lexington, Newton, Rocky Mount, Shelby, Smithfield, Tarboro and Wilson.
Let’s All Stand Together For Public Power Week.
October 5, 2015
Each year, the first week in October is Public Power Week. It’s a time to celebrate the value of locally-owned and operated electric utilities and an opportunity for us to really connect with our customers. All 1.2 million of them!
People Power: Standing Strong, Standing Together is our theme for 2015. It recognizes the combined efforts of the dedicated men and women behind public power in North Carolina. Our public power communities are stronger when we work together. By sharing knowledge and lending each other a helping hand, we make sure our customers enjoy safe and reliable power. And that’s certainly something worth celebrating.
Uptowne High Point Offers Great Opportunity - And Great Food.
August 21, 2015
Take “North Carolina's International City,” add plenty of entrepreneurial spirit and a strong economic development team, turn up the heat, and see what happens.
High Point over the past few years has focused on providing economic development opportunities and improving the overall quality of life for its citizens. Along the way they’ve also boosted the quality of the food found in the “Furniture Capital of the World.”
“The city is working hard to be a place where business and industry can thrive, and we’re starting to focus on retail and commercial opportunities,” says Sandy Dunbeck, senior vice president of the High Point Economic Development Corp.
Those efforts have certainly paid off, with a number of restaurants filling a need and finding success in the Uptowne district.
“There’s been a real groundswell here of local entrepreneurs who’ve gotten these restaurants going. What they’re delivering is really first-rate and gives our citizens great places to eat, while people from out of town can have first-class experiences, too,” Dunbeck says.
Over the last decade, The Blue Restaurant Group has opened a string of successful eateries: Blue Water Grille, Blue Bourbon Jacks, Blue Zucchini, Blur Rock Pizza and Tap, and the most recent, Lulu & Blu. Other restaurateurs have followed, with fare that appeals to both High Point residents and the furniture market’s international visitors.
Last year, Tu and Todd Sen opened 98 Asian Bistro in Uptowne, with help from the city’s economic development team. As Tu explains, “This location, the old Lyles Chevrolet building, had a lot of history. The city agreed that we should save this building, and they were always very helpful.”
High Point Mayor Bill Bencini likes what he sees. “It’s been a very good thing for that part of High Point, for year-round residents and for visitors to High Point University and the furniture market.”
Thanks to the hard work of its elected officials, economic development team and dedicated citizens, High Point has proven to be a great place to start a business — and a terrific place to grab a bite to eat.
Glory Be: RP3 in NC
July 15, 2015
For a public power community, achieving Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation is a big deal. APPA’s RP3 program recognizes public power systems that demonstrate basic proficiency in four key areas: reliability, safety, training and system improvement. This designation — in three levels: Diamond, Platinum and Gold — speaks for a public power utility’s sound business practices and utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
This year, 14 NC Public Power communities earned RP3 designation.
Diamond Level: Albemarle
Platinum Level: Elizabeth City, Gastonia, High Point, New Bern, Shelby, Greenville, Granite Falls, Wake Forest
Gold Level: Kinston, Lumberton, Morganton, Clayton, Smithfield
Congratulations to all these cities for being recognized. This is Albemarle’s first Diamond designation — while Granite Falls, Shelby, Elizabeth City, New Bern and Greenville Utilities Commission moved up a level. Clayton had not submitted an application since 2008. Congratulations also to our South Carolina members, Clinton Public Works and Rockhill.
Judy Redwine, Assistant Director of Public Utilities for the City of Albemarle, summed it up perfectly: “It’s because of the electrical guys and how they respond, how they’re so safety-conscious, how quickly they get to our customers when there’s a power failure, and how they work with each other and the outside contractors. They’re just good.”
To learn more, visit
Powered Up Perspectives: Mayor David Combs, Rocky Mount
April 28, 2015
Heading into 2015, we chatted with public power leaders across the state — to get their outlook on economic development in 2015. One of those leaders was Mayor David Combs of Rocky Mount. Looking back, 2014 was a good year for us. Our unemployment rate continued to recover from the economic downturn a few years ago. We had two good announcements — Nutcao, an Italian company, invested in Rocky Mount and built a new facility. They will hire 80-100 employees. Acme United, a company that manufactures everything from rulers to surgical scissors, will bring 80-100 jobs...Read More.
Powered Up Perspective: Rick Howell, Shelby
March 25, 2015
The coming of a new year is always exciting. With it comes an opportunity to look back at the previous year, and forward to what may lie ahead. We thought it would be valuable to get the perspectives of public power leaders across the state. We asked about economic development in their area: their thoughts on 2014, their outlook for 2015 and the challenges they’ve faced or see on the horizon. This issue, we hear from Rick Howell, City Manager of Shelby...Read More.
Powered Up for 2015
March 23, 2015
Last year was another eventful year for the ElectriCities Economic Development team, marked by increased demand from both new and expanding businesses. Brenda Daniels, ElectriCities’ Economic Development Manager, sees no signs of slowing down in the year ahead.
The Economic Development team is always looking for strategies and custom-developed programs to make NC Public Power sites more competitive. Smart Communities, now in its third year, offers grants for community-specific projects to help attract and retain commercial and industrial customers. This year we’re introducing the Smart Sites (S²) program, a shovel-ready site qualification program to support economic development opportunities for our members...Read More.