Welcome to Olympia Public Power
... A City-Owned Electric Utility Would Help Olympia's People ...
Local folks are organizing a campaign for the City of Olympia and other local cities to replace Puget Sound Energy here with a successful locally owned electric utility that will provide lower rates, better reliability, and sustainable energy - and will be accountable to the public instead of foreign stockholders.
To contact us, check out the contact page.
- We would provide clean energy and a dramatic reduction in our carbon emissions from electricity: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) currently sells us electricity derived 59% from fossil fuels and plans to continue doing so as long as it possibly can, even under Washington's 100% Clean Electricity Act. This means that by 2030 PSE will still be 20% fueled by fossil fuels and will not approach 100% clean energy until 2045.
- Our Better Alternative to PSE: Our city-owned electric utility would rely more on federal hydropower, and we could create "green" energy sources. We plan to achieve 95% fossil free electricity within five years. We plan to serve residents of Olympia with 95% clean electricity twenty years before PSE is forced to give up its fossil fuel habit.
- We would provide local ownership and accountability to voters: Puget Sound Energy is owned and managed by foreign corporate boards concerned only about profit. PSE sucks millions of dollars out of our local community every year and sends it to foreign owners.
- Our Better Alternative to PSE: We, the citizens of Olympia, through our elected City Council and skilled professional staff, will manage the utility in the best interests of our community. We will hire experienced local employees. We will keep our money circulating in our local economy.
- We would provide lower electric rates in the future: PSE's rates are among the highest in the state, and they will continue to rise. The state government's new 100% Clean Electricity Act allows PSE to charge its customers for its share of decommissioning and remediating its Colstrip coal plant in Montana. The cost for remediation of the coal ash ponds alone is estimated to be $700 million. PSE's one-third share will impose its huge costs upon its customers.
- Our Better Alternative to PSE: Electric utilities owned by the public are not burdened by stockholders' profits, and they qualify for low-cost federal hydropower. Publicly owned electric utility rates have consistently been lower than the rates of investor-owned utilities. For example, in 2016 the cost of 1,000 kWh of electricity from PSE was $106.23 while the cost from Tacoma Power and Light, a municipal utility, was only $84.65.
- We would provide faster response to emergencies: PSE's reliability in much of its service area is terrible. For example, its average annual outage minutes from 2010-2014 in Bainbridge Island was 686 compared to an average of only 89 in the same time period for Peninsula Light, the cooperative that serves the neighboring Key Peninsula.
- Our Better Alternative to PSE: We will hire competent experienced local employees familiar with our lines and substations and able to respond to an outage immediately.