Nebraska is unique in that it remains wholly served by public power utilities, as it has for more than 70 years.
During the first part of the 20th century, little had been done to bring electricity to rural areas. The state's irrigation needs were not being met, and survival of Nebraska's agricultural economy was at stake. In 1933, these and other concerns prompted the Nebraska Legislature to pass the "Enabling Act," which permitted the formation of separate or combined public power districts and public irrigation districts as state political subdivisions. As rural electrification progressed, urban dwellers began to take notice of the benefits of public power. In 1946, some area business leaders succeeded in establishing the Omaha Public Power District with the express purpose of promoting highly reliable, affordable electric service in their community.
As a political subdivision of the state of Nebraska, OPPD's policies and rates are set by its eight-member Board of Directors, elected by the people in the areas served. This type of governance allows for public awareness of the utility's operations since every Nebraskan is a stakeholder in the state's public power system.
Public power has brought benefits to customers in the entire state: low-cost electricity, reliable service and safe operations. Public power provides Nebraskans local control. Instead of paying dividends to stockholders, OPPD and other public power utilities return profits to customer-owners in the form of low rates and system improvements.
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