Semper Fortis. The U.S. Navy’s motto, meaning “Always Courageous,” is steeped with meaning to me.
You see, five years spent in the U.S. Navy were critical in shaping my belief in the importance of people and mission. Keeping each other safe, uniting together, and working toward shared goals forever bonded my fellow sailors and I together. We were a family, and our dedication to our country’s mission, and each other, were paramount.
After my time on active duty, Dacia and I considered several options for our future as my time at the Navy Nuclear Power School in Orlando came to a close. In another lifetime, I could have become a radiologist or explored a career within the Civil Engineering Corps. But, it always came back to family. Upon moving home, I took a job as an environmental qualification coordinator at Cooper Nuclear Station.
As my years of experience grew, I got to know the wonderful communities we serve across the state. As always, the people rose to the top as my fellow teammates and I continued our mission to provide customers with safe, low-cost, reliable, sustainable power and outstanding service.
Success in achieving this mission is firmly rooted in the public power model. Our state is unique in that it’s the only state in the U.S. where every single home and business receives electric service from publicly-owned utilities such as municipalities, electric cooperatives or public power districts.
This essential service is extremely important, not just to our economy, but our quality of life. Most people take their electricity for granted today, but spend time with a parent or grandparent who is over 80, and they’ll likely tell you what low cost, reliable electricity means to them, sharing stories of former lives in rural Nebraska without it. My mom and dad were just kids when their family farms received electricity for the first time, and often speak to how much easier and better it made their lives.
Nowadays, we remain steadfast in our mission, even as we look to a changing future that involves carbon reduction at our facilities, facilitating the deployment of broadband to rural Nebraska, and embracing technological advancement and innovation in all areas of business. Every strategic decision we make aims to improve customer relationships and their experience with NPPD. We are growing and changing along with you, yet the foundation of public power remains intact.
Local control is one such benefit of public power that provides you the opportunity to directly engage in the decisions we make. It’s a critical part of our economy, and you won’t see the direct tie to customers in private power models. Instead, you’re paying only what it costs your utility to serve you, which for Nebraska homeowners, averages just $3.66 per day – less than a regular stop by your favorite neighborhood coffee shop or a visit to the movies for $9.11 a ticket.
Instead, our not-for-profit model and lack of shareholders ensure your money is reinvested into the electrical system and services that best serve you.
NPPD operates more than 5,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, and draws power from nuclear, coal, wind, natural gas, hydropower and community solar. This excellent fuel diversity is one of the reasons Nebraska’s electric rates are some of the lowest in the U.S.
As we celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary, we do so looking ahead at ways to continue bringing customers superior service for the next 50 years. That is how we will be “Always there when you need us.”
Like “Semper Fortis,” it’s a reminder of what a powerful impact we can have on people – our neighbors, friends and families – when we put them first.