This week as I took my family through a fast-food burger joint and received our bill for $46.00 I was reminded of how it seems like the cost of everything is going up. On any given day I might be willing to spend a little bit of money for the convenience of a quick meal or some fun entertainment for my family, but this has me reassessing my priorities as I look at my electric utility bill. At $3.45 a day, the average Nebraskan truly gets a great deal when it comes to their electric rates.
It only takes a short electric outage to begin to appreciate the value of a reliable source of electricity. I may not like it when I don’t always have adequate cell phone coverage or broadband access, but I accept it. I am not willing, however, to put up with unreliable electric service. Heating, air conditioning, refrigerators, computers, lights…all of this each and every day for less than the cost of a movie ticket.
Rural public power providers have done a great job keeping costs down and our rates affordable. In fact, electric rates have only gone up one nickel per kilowatt hour since rural electrification brought electricity to the rural farms across Nebraska 75 years ago.
Nebraska’s not-for-profit public power model has served us well, and the value of public power is apparent in every small town across the state. From the jobs provided to the rural economy to the community service projects our rural electric member-systems perform to the taxes they pay which help to lower everyone’s tax burden, Nebraska’s rural electric member-systems truly are Working for Nebraska.