Each year during the first full week of October, public utilities across the country celebrate Public Power Week to bring awareness to the advantages of having a public power provider.
This year, the Paris Board of Public Utilities is putting a twist on Public Power Week and rebranding it locally as Public Utilities Week since BPU provides more than just public power — BPU also provides city residents with water and wastewater services.
“We are proud to be a public utility provider,” said Terry Wimberley, BPU general manager.
“Public utilities like BPU, put the community first, and Public Utilities Week gives us the chance to celebrate our customers and our community while also emphasizing the advantages of having public utilities in Paris and Henry County.
“Our service is reliable and safe, and we take pride in serving our friends and neighbors.
He said, you may be asking yourself, why does it matter that BPU is a “public utility?” One of the major advantages of a public utility, compared to an investor-owned utility, is that they are not-for-profit.
This means BPU can set their rates lower than most investor-owned utilities, because they set rates to recover costs and reinvest in their systems, not to pay investors.
Additionally, public utilities typically have fewer outages. With public utilities like BPU, there are also local men and women, people you know, working to get your utilities restored, meaning in the event of an interruption of service, restoration time is faster.
For the past several years, BPU has celebrated Public Power (now Utilities) Week with a community cookout, and this year will be no different.
The cookout will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the BPU employee parking lot, located behind the main office on East Wood Street.
Free food, giveaways, demonstrations and more are planned. New to the cookout this year is a community canned food drive.
“As a public utility provider, we are committed to giving back to the community we serve” said Meagan Hart, BPU communications and marketing specialist.
“This year, we wanted to give back to the community we serve by sponsoring a canned food drive during the Public Utilities Week cookout.
For every can donated by our customers, BPU will match the donation. All cans will be donated to the Henry County Food bank at the end of the week.”
Additional activities throughout the week include a coloring contest for local elementary students along with two new contests for high school students.
Check BPU’s social media channels for fun facts and information about public utilities throughout the week.