Public Power In Nebraska


A tradition of public power in Nebraska has brought real benefits to the state, including low-cost electricity, local control, and responsive customer service.  In rural America of the early twentieth century, electricity was a scarce commodity.

Investor-owned utilities found that it was not economically feasible to provide electric service to rural areas.  Recognizing that void, Nebraska’s U.S. Senator, George Norris, was certain that publicly owned utilities could provide electricity to everyone.

In 1936, Norris led the fight to pass the Rural Electrification Act (REA).  This revolutionary legislation enabled the creation of publicly owned power generation and delivery systems for the common good.  Today, unlike many other states that rely on a combination of public and private providers, Nebraska remains wholly served by public power utilities.

  •  Nebraska is the only state in America totally served by a consumer-owned public power system delivering electricity as a nonprofit service.
  • In Nebraska, public power offers reliable, efficient, friendly service.
  • Nebraska’s utilities are governed by Nebraskans.

As a result of a law passed by the U.S. Congres

s in 1992, change is likely to come to our public power system.  The Federal Energy Policy Act established the framework for electric competition at the wholesale level and created open access to electric transmission systems.  This act does not mandate competition.  However, it places electricity one step closer to the same type of deregulatory track at work in other industries, including airlines, trucking, railroads, and telecommunications.

Nebraskans can rest assured their public power systems will continue to focus on the best interest of the entire state by providing low-cost, dependable power.  Deregulation may bring a variety of power-marketing entities and utilities to the state, offering customers alternatives to public power.  Here in Nebraska we are confident that public power will remain the people’s choice.

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