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New Bern Recognized for Public Power Excellence

Public Power Award of Excellence
Public Power Award of Excellence Plaque

Bauschard Presentation to BOA Aug 22 2023Charles Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities, presents the award to the Board of Aldermen at their
August 22, 2023 meeting.

Bauschard Presentation to BOA Aug 22 2023 2
Charles Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities
August 22, 2023

Department of Public Utilities recognized for 5 focused priorities

The City of New Bern Department of Public Utilities (DPU) was awarded a Public Power Award of Excellence earlier this month at the ElectriCities Annual Conference in South Carolina. Charles Bauschard, director of the department, brought the award home and presented it to the Board of Aldermen during their Tuesday, August 22nd meeting. The award reflects public power’s strategic priorities, recognizing exceptional achievement in the following categories:

  • Future-focused - Recognizing communities that develop a future-focused mindset
  • Strengthen Public Power - Celebrating communities that build public and political support for public power
  • Provide Superior Power - Highlighting communities that deliver reliable, affordable, and sustainable electric power
  • Customer-centered Innovation - Celebrating public power providers that innovate and invest to better serve their customers and communities
  • People - Recognizing cities and towns that leverage their people as their greatest asset

“I’m happy to share this award with the community. It’s a testimony to the staff that we have and their due diligence and commitment to public power and reliable power,” Bauschard told the Board of Aldermen during his presentation Tuesday night. “Thanks to staff for their hard work and thank you, Board, for your leadership and your governance in making us a strong utility.”

New Bern is one of 15 public power communities across North Carolina to receive an award for the year 2022. The City was recognized for exceptional achievements in all five categories. 

“There is tremendous value in public power, and this year’s Public Power Awards of Excellence recipients are going above and beyond to demonstrate that value and move public power’s future forward,” said ElectriCities CEO Roy Jones. “These awards demonstrate the connection New Bern has in prioritizing local needs, putting their customers first using innovative solutions that provide safe, reliable power, and leveraging their workforce to provide exceptional service to the community. I’m honored to recognize New Bern and the public power employees who put in the hard work each day to power their neighborhoods.”

The City last received a public power award of excellence from ElectriCities in 2021, for superior achievement in communicating the value of public power, grid modernization, workforce development, wholesale power cost, and continuous improvement.  Also in 2021, New Bern was recognized twice nationally. The American Public Power Association (APPA) awarded the city an exceptional electric reliability award (in March) as well as a national commendation for its mutual aid response and power restoration in support of High Point, North Carolina after a devastating ice storm (in April). 

According to ElectriCities, nearly 1.3 million people in more than 70 cities and towns across North Carolina get their electricity from public power providers. Since these public power communities own their electric system, they maintain local control and decision making over their operations, providing unbeaten reliability and support for their local economy. 

About ElectriCities of North Carolina

ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc., is the membership organization that provides power supply and related critical services to over 90 community-owned electric systems in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia—collectively known as public power. ElectriCities manages the power supply for two power agencies in North Carolina and provides technical services to assist members in operating their electric distribution systems. ElectriCities also helps these locally owned and operated public power providers thrive today and in the future by delivering innovative services, including legislative, technical, communications, and economic development expertise.

Visit to learn more about the benefits of public power and how ElectriCities helps communities keep the lights on through access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy.