Auburn Utilities: Working for the rate-payers

by Stuart Tuttle, Superintendent Administrator, Electric Department

We take a lot of pride in offering Auburn residents and businesses one of the lowest electric rates in state. At a rate of about 15 percent less than comparable communities of our size, Auburn’s electric rate translates into a real dollars-and-cents advantage for our community. And it’s an advantage rate-payers have realized for several years now—thanks in large part to how closely our team monitors and tracks our agreements for buying power.

Another reason we’re able to maintain a low rate is because we’re a municipal utility and we manage our services – electric, AES, water, sewer and refuse/recycling – under one division. We realize many efficiencies and synergies in our operations as a result. And whatever utility service we’re providing, we’re focused on a shared goal: providing the most reliable service at the best possible cost.

As a municipal utility, we know we’re working for the rate-payers instead of stock owners. We’re owned by the city and governed by people who are customers and familiar with our operations and services. Bottom line: we’re local people working to meet local needs. We’re focused on the best service, not making a profit. And when we do make a profit, it is funneled right back into the community.

Additionally, because we’re tied so closely to the city, we approach our services with a long-term perspective of Auburn’s master plan and goals for growth and development. The cost and operational efficient of a community’s utilities can dramatically impact economic development, Needless to say, in Auburn, our utilities are a competitive advantage and a real selling point when it comes to attracting and retaining businesses to our city.

If you have questions or concerns, our team is available to you—yet another advantage of having a municipal utility. You don’t have to call corporate headquarters in another city or talk to someone who doesn’t understand your neighborhood. We’re located in your community.

In the coming months, we’ll be introducing some new options as part of our electric service. Watch for another blog from me next week talking about what’s coming with the Smart Grid.