Public Power and Public Natural Gas Week: how public utilities invest locally, are more affordable and benefit local communities.

From October 1 to October 7, CPS Energy proudly joins the nationwide celebration of Public Power Week and Public Natural Gas Week. We stand alongside more than 2,000 community-powered utilities that collectively provide energy to 49 million Americans. As a community-owned utility, CPS Energy’s top priorities are serving its customers and providing resilient and reliable power services.

According to the American Public Power Association’s 2023 Public Power Statistical Report:

  • Residential customers of public power utilities have the lowest average bill—saving approximately $27.91 per month. CPS Energy has lower combined electric and natural gas utility bills than other major cities in Texas.
  • Public power customers experienced half the average outage times as customers of other utilities. Over the past two years, CPS Energy has trimmed 1,300 miles of trees which reduces customer outages.
  • Public power supports energy efficiency more than other utilities. To reduce customer bills, CPS Energy offers the Sustainable Tomorrow Energy Plan, including the weatherization of over 30,000 homes.
  • Public Power makes more investments in renewable energy. According to the report Shining Cities: The Top U.S. Cities for Solar Energy, San Antonio is ranked first in Texas and fifth in the nation for total solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. 
  • In 2020, community-owned utilities reinvested $1.5 billion to support vital city services—this is 20% more than private utilities. CPS Energy alone invests 14% of annual revenues to fund vital city services such as public safety, parks, libraries, senior centers and more. This amounts to about $1 million a day back to the City of San Antonio.
  • Thanks to public power, there are about 96,000 people working hometown jobs. CPS Energy’s workforce is over 3,400 employees strongly focused on providing resilient, reliable, and affordable energy.
  • Public power employees do more than keep the power on. According to the same 2023 Public Power Statistical Report, employees gave 27,000 volunteer hours to community projects. Just this year, CPS Energy had more than 400 team members who participated in blood drives to save lives, the highest turnout for our utility. Volunteers have contributed over $1 million to the United Way and participate in annual food drives collecting more than 3,000 pounds of food.

Municipally-owned natural gas utilities serve millions.

Power also includes natural gas. The American Public Gas Association estimates about 1,000 publicly-owned natural gas utilities. Currently, there are an estimated 3 million miles of natural gas pipelines across the country which serve the increasing energy needs of American cities.  

In our region, CPS Energy maintains over 6,000 miles of gas lines. To protect this infrastructure and prevent the escape of natural gas which can impact air quality, CPS Energy has used smart survey vehicles (SSV) for years. These vehicles drive across the region using high power sensors to detect leaks. The technology is so powerful that it can find escaping gas in customers’ homes. Other benefits include faster detection of trouble areas, wider service coverage than traditional walking surveys, and reduced use of other vehicles in our fleet which saves customers’ money.

Our utility is only one of a handful of utilities that uses this innovation.

Watch CPS Energy’s Smart Survey Vehicle in action!

This Public Power and Public Natural Gas Week, we are proud to be the nation’s largest community-owned electric and natural gas provider. One of CPS Energy’s core values is to work as One Team and we are committed to putting our community first. It’s what public power companies do every single day—and it’s what CPS Energy will do to provide service to San Antonio and surrounding counties for generations to come.

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