An everyday value

Even though I work in the utility industry,I sometimes take for granted the services we provide. I expect the lights to turn on when I flip the switch, water to flow when I turn on the tap and the coffeemaker to work each morning. Chances are, you do the same.
Perhaps you give it some thought when there is an outage or when the monthly bill arrives, but on most days, utilities are abundant and reliable, and they’re just not things that cross your mind.
I challenge you to stop for a moment and consider the many ways you use your utilities each day. Given our dependence on utilities like natural gas, water, electricity, wastewater and telecom services, they are a
remarkable value, especially compared to other standard services and expenses.
If you are old enough, think back to the cost of a gallon of gasoline 20 years ago. Consider the cost of groceries or a cup of your favorite specialty coffee from a few years back.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI), the average rent increase was nearly 4 percent from 2014 to 2019. The cost of medical care increased by 3 percent during this time, and education was not far behind at 2.6 percent.
So, what about electricity or natural gas? According to the CPI, electricity increased by less than half a percentage point. The cost of electricity has remained mostly flat, unlike most other consumer goods. The price of natural gas decreased in the same period of time.
For Fayetteville Public Utilities customers, the value of energy is even higher. Our average cost of residential energy is 17 percent below the national average.
The bottom line is electricity and natural gas are tremendous values. Our crews work hard to keep your utilities on 99.97 percent of the time, and we do it at a cost that is well below the national average. I’m very proud of our track record.
You can count on us to continue making smart investments in our system to increase reliability, reduce costs and improve our customer experience.
With that in mind, we recognize that the past few months have been challenging for many of our customers, and we’re
here to help. If you are having trouble paying your bill, give us a call, and we will talk with you about payment options and provide information about assistance that might be available such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Please contact us if you have questions about your account or are looking for ways to save energy at home. FPU is your utility, and our main purpose is to serve you and the needs of our community. That’s everyday value.

FPU CEO/General Manager, Britt Dye