Resource Information about Fayetteville Public Utilities

Resource Information about Fayetteville Public Utilities

The information here may be helpful to high school juniors as they write their short stories about FPU in the annual Washington Youth Tour Writing Contest.

What kind of organization is Fayetteville Public Utilities?

FPU is a rural electric system, serving both the city of Fayetteville and rural Lincoln County communities and small portions of the counties that border Lincoln County. FPU is a distributor of electricity generated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. FPU is somewhat unique as we are not only an electric system, but we are a multi-service utility system offering natural gas, water, wastewater, cable TV, Internet and phone services.

When were Fayetteville and Lincoln County’s electric system organized?

FPU has an interesting history which begins with two independent electric companies. The electric cooperative, Lincoln County Electric Membership Corporation, was formed in October 1935 as one of the first rural power systems in Tennessee (a rural electric cooperative). Prior to its existence, the city of Fayetteville already had its own power company, the Fayetteville Power and Light Company, which was a municipal business operated as part of the city. Fayetteville Power and Light only provided electricity to those who lived in the city. People who lived beyond the city limits had no electricity until the cooperative was formed to build and maintain its own electric system and distribute electricity to Lincoln County areas. The earliest rural power lines in our county were built in Blanche and quickly extended to all rural communities in Lincoln County.

Why is FPU not called a “cooperative” by name as other rural power systems are?

In 1963, the electric municipal and cooperative systems agreed to a merger which created Fayetteville Electric System. FES continued to operate as a hybrid electric system until 2002 when all city utility systems were consolidated to form Fayetteville Public Utilities. This consolidation joined together our electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas utilities.

When did the local electric company begin offering telecommunication services?

Prior to utility consolidation, Fayetteville Electric System entered to telecommunications venture in 2001 offering cable TV programming and high-speed Internet service. Services were first constructed to city residents, but quick expanded into county areas as funding allowed. In 2009, FPU added digital phone service (voice over IP) to its telecom services. Today, FPU continues to expand its telecom services in rural parts of Lincoln County.

Who controls FPU?

At FPU, a seven-member Board of Directors is appointed by the Fayetteville Mayor and Board of Aldermen. FPU’s board consists of four members who represent the county and three who represent the city. The Fayetteville Mayor may also elect to serve as an ex-officio member of the FPU board. FPU’s board meets each month at the FPU office.

What does it mean for FPU to be not-for-profit?

Because FPU is a public utility and operates as a not-for-profit business, any margin on revenues is reinvested into the utility to enhance our core utility services, extend utility services in rural areas and provide better customer services to those we serve.

How does FPU assist its customers?

In addition to providing utility services that a second to none when it comes to reliability, safety and affordability, FPU also offers many helpful customer services which include:

  • 24/7 emergency repair service
  • TVA’s eScore energy savings program
  • TVA’s do-it-yourself energy audit
  • Electric water heater rebates
  • Security light rentals
  • Convenient bill payment options
  • Project Help assistance program
  • Educational school programs for all ages
  • Community involvement
  • Customer communications (The Tennessee Magazine, Channel 6, bill inserts, web site, Twitter and more)

 How does FPU help power everyday life for Fayetteville and Lincoln County?

Look around you. Electricity is everywhere you go. Behind that electricity are the men and women who work at Fayetteville Public Utilities. FPU employees work hard each day to make sure you and your family have the best when it comes to utility service.

Electricity is a must-have in today’s time. Practically everything we do requires electricity. From lights to televisions, from food preparation to powering cell phones, electricity is a vital ingredient to our daily living. But if you look beyond the basic ‘gadgets’ of what electricity powers, you’ll also see that electricity gives us much more.

Electricity powers the technology and mechanical operations behind the scenes that make things work. Electricity powers the electric water heater that provides you with a hot shower each day. It powers appliances to keep your food hot or cold. It also powers televisions, radios and cell phones, and makes those broadcasts and transmissions possible, so that you have communications and entertainment at your fingertips.

Electricity has the power to help communities grow.  It powers new home construction and economic and industrial development. It powers our local schools to educate the next generation of community leaders.

Electricity plays a vital role in powering everyday life, and since its introduction many years ago, it continues to improve our lives.