Public Power


Public Power

Public power is electricity that comes from a community owned and operated utility. It is an American tradition that works. The first municipal utility was established in 1882, and more than 350 public power utilities have celebrated their centennials. There are more than 2,000 cities and towns in the United States that light up their homes, businesses and streets with public power. Public power has a strong environmental-protection track record, solid credentials with bond rating agencies, and a reputation for reliable, customer-focused service.

The Public Power Difference

Public Power is an important force in the utility industry in America. Local decision making enables municipal electric utilities to act in ways that best suit local needs and values.

Lower rates

On average, Delaware municipal electric utility rates are lower than the rates charged by other utilities across the country, beating the national average.

Efficient service

Driven by the principle of excellent service at the lowest possible cost consistent with the local community’s mission and sound business practices, Delaware’s municipal electric utilities are directly responsible to their customer/owners. They are not concerned about stockholders or profits since municipal utilities are not-for-profit.


Historically, the municipal utilities have set the standard by which to measure the price and performance of the other utilities in Delaware. In today’s newly competitive electric utility environment, the municipal utilities are helping to make effective competition, rather than federal or state regulation, the driving force in the electricity marketplace.

Financial Health

DEMEC member communities stand out as well run, financially sound entities that bring a high quality of life to their communities and surrounding areas at a comparatively low cost. These municipalities have invested millions of dollars in building reliable electric generation and distribution systems for the benefit of their communities.

The returns on these community investments make possible the high level of municipal services and low tax burdens characteristic of the communities that own the electric utilities. This is because every dollar collected over the actual cost to operate and provide for capital improvement of the electric utilities goes back into providing services to the community and surrounding areas, such as high-quality police and fire departments, parks and recreation facilities, and public works projects.

The Power of Joint Action

The joint action efforts of DEMEC have resulted in saving the municipal system customers hundreds of millions of dollars over the years. In today’s volatile electric industry, DEMEC is becoming an even more valuable tool in assisting the public power systems in Delaware in bringing high reliability, lower costs and improved benefits to their electric customers.

DEMEC and its member municipal electric utilities are a major asset of the State of Delaware, providing economic viability to the municipalities and the State. Since the formation of DEMEC in 1979, Delaware’s municipal electric utilities have used their combined buying power to work toward securing the highest reliability and lowest possible energy costs for their customers/owners.

DEMEC and its member municipal electric utilities have provided competitive, reliable electric service for decades, and will continue to provide the best service at the lowest possible cost. 

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