The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 18, 2012

Three win utility credits during Public Power Week

Staff Writer

TARBORO — Three lucky Town of Tarboro utilities customers received a credit on their bill for the upcoming month as winners of a contest promoting Public Power Week, which is observed annually the first week of October.

“I was hoping and praying that I would get lucky,” said James Jones, winner of a $100 credit.

In order to enter the contest, customers had to put a Public Power Week sticker on their vehicle. “Spotters” drove around Tarboro last week, noting license plates of vehicles with stickers. Those license numbers were placed in a container and Mayor Donald Morris drew the winning numbers Wednesday.

Phyllis Bonds was the winner of a $200 utilities credit.

“It will help me tremendously. I’m a senior citizen on a fixed income, so this will help me a whole lot,” said Bonds. “This summer, the light bill was kind of high.”

The winner of the $300 credit has not yet claimed their prize. The customer’s license tag number is Z4B-4642.

In addition to giving out stickers to customers, town utilities employees also gave out activity packs to children and informational brochures about public power.

“It’s something we can do for our customers,” said Lynne Fleming, collector of revenue for the Town of Tarboro. She said the week is also educational, “letting them [customers] know how public power works.”

Customers have the option of different payment plans. Jones, for instance, is on an equal payment plan, meaning he pays a fixed amount for his utilities every month, based on his bills from the previous year. In September, he pays the difference or gets a credit on his bill, depending on whether the amount is higher or lower than the previous year. Fleming said the plan prevents customers from paying “extremely high” bills in the hot, summer months, and that Jones is “very satisfied” with the program.

“I appreciate what they’ve done for me. You might not find too many light bill companies that do that,’ said Jones. “I give then the credit for being the best light bill people in the whole nation.”

All in all, Tarboro utilities gave out 2,000 stickers during Public Power Week. The town has approximately 6,500 utilities customers.