weather icon Clear

Community-powered utility benefits BC residents

This week, I’d like to take some time to appreciate Boulder City’s Utilities Department, which provides power to residential and business customers.

Please join me in celebrating Public Power Week this Sunday, which started on Oct. 1 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 7.

Boulder City is one of 2,000 public power utilities that provide electricity to 49 million people across the country. Like many other public power utilities, Boulder City staff is always looking at ways to improve and protect our infrastructure to ensure safe, reliable, affordable, sustainable, and customer-focused service for many years to come.

We are still one of the lowest-cost providers in the country. Boulder City receives more than half of its power from renewable hydroelectric sources (forty percent is generated by the engineering wonder that built our community – Hoover Dam; Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell provides twelve percent). About a quarter of our power comes from solar energy from Townsite Solar, the other quarter from natural gas.

We are Clean, Green Boulder City in many ways.

Power use ranges from approximately 10 megawatts (MW) of power in more temperate months to about 50 MW on a peak summer day. Getting energy on the hottest of days can present a challenge.

That is why the city is also a member of the Silver State Energy Association. Silver State schedules power purchases and delivery for Boulder City as well as for other entities in Southern Nevada. Think of it like buying in bulk – when Silver State buys for multiple communities, cost savings are passed on to Boulder City customers.

As a not-for-profit public power utility, our loyalty is to our customers – not stockholders. Boulder City’s utility cannot generate a profit and is an enterprise fund, which means it is a self-supporting government fund, selling goods and services to the public for a fee. Last week, during the regular City Council meeting, I had the opportunity to shake hands with many of the employees who work for Boulder City’s Utilities Department. These workers play a key role in keeping our community up and running daily, often working crazy hours on the hottest of days to keep our power going.

Public power thrives because we are community-owned and governed by local decision-making. Boulder City is fortunate to have Department Director Joe Stubitz (who I’ve known since he was a child) supervising William Bruninga, Josh Hardy, Skip Spilman, and the technicians and lineworkers who care about the community and take pride in serving our friends and neighbors. I also would like to salute the members of our Utility Advisory Committee, who keep City Council and the city manager informed of community concerns and trends in the industry.

This year, Joe Stubitz is working to educate a future generation of potential public power employees. He is working with Martha P. King Elementary School to teach youth about the work of his staff and hopefully inspire future leaders for Boulder City’s Utilities Department.

Thank you to Boulder City’s Electrical workers for all that they do to keep our lights on. We appreciate you this week and every week.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
“No one grows up wanting to live on the streets.”

Recently, I learned of a very large family that had fallen on hard times. I don’t know where they are from, but like thousands of other families in Southern Nevada, they were unsure of where to turn for help. They went into survival mode, camping in the desert not far from our community to keep their young children safe, the kind of distress that some people try not to notice as they pass by.

You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube

A topic that’s been on the minds of several as of late, including city staff and council, has been short-term vacation rentals and whether or not to allow their existence in Boulder City.

The Consciousness of Love

Where did love go? The kindness in our world seems to have dissipated. When I go into a coffee shop, I witness almost everyone distracted from other human beings by their cell phone or computer.

Just call me Ron-Boy

As some of you know, I grew up here in Boulder City having started school in sixth grade at Garrett Junior High.

Keeping our waters safe

Lake Mead National Recreation Area prioritizes the safety of its visitors by conducting regular water testing at beaches and hot springs.

It’s just a piece of paper, right?

I’m not sure if it is because the Spousal Unit and I are now empty-nesters or if it is leftover influence from that Netflix show called “Swedish Death Cleaning,” but a substantial portion of my weekends for the past few months has been trying to sort through and eliminate some of the “stuff” that has taken over the house.

Can a song help reduce military, veteran suicides?

For too many years now, the growing problem of military personnel and veterans (as well as civilians), taking their own lives has been seemingly unsolvable.

Fighting the fentanyl epidemic

You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but there is a dangerous drug killing about 150 people every day in the U.S.: fentanyl. Right here in Boulder City, three people died from fentanyl overdoses in 2022. This year, that number has nearly doubled – five deaths, and we still have two more months before the year ends.

Be Like Coke

In the late 60s, Cheryl, my future mother-in-law, received a surprise telephone call that changed her life forever.