New Bern recognized for reliable electric service

City employee Lester Fonville is an Electric Meter Technician who has been with the city for over 20 years. His primary job consists of troubleshooting, reprogramming, installing, and testing commercial electric meters. Photo via ElectriCities

The city’s electric utility ranks in the top 25% nationwide for keeping the lights on

Via City of New Bern

The American Public Power Association (APPA) has recognized the City of New Bern Department of Public Utilities for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2020. In a comparison of local and national data collected by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the City’s electric utility is in the top quartile of utilities for System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI).

Across the state, fourteen public power utilities earned the 2020 Certificate of Excellence in Reliability from the APPA. “Public power utilities have proven their commitment to serving their community by continuing to lead the nation in reliability,” said Alex Hofmann, APPA Vice President of Technical and Operations Services. “These utilities are the best of the best when it comes to keeping the lights on in their communities.”

New Bern uses the eReliability Tracker to compile data on power outages. The web-based service is an effective way to gather outage information, categorize and summarize it on spreadsheets, and use it to analyze utility health. Users can run system reports to view monthly data and statistics of their utility’s performance.

“Reliable electric service is the heartbeat of everyday life,” said Charlie Bauschard, Director of Public Utilities. “Our customers rely on us to provide public power to their homes, schools, and businesses. It is essential to economic progress; to our workforce and the production and delivery of goods and services; to education, recreation, and leisure; to the sustainability of our communities and so much more. That’s a huge responsibility that we take very seriously.”

This is the second award in a month from the APPA. In March, the Department of Public Utilities received a national commendation for its mutual aid response and power restoration in support of High Point, North Carolina crews after an ice storm. “We are honored to be recognized nationally amongst utilities large and small,” said Bauschard. “This is proof of our commitment to safe and reliable delivery of public power and to modern advancements and technology that will ensure that reliability for generations to come.”

In addition to New Bern, the cities of Concord, Laurinburg, Lumberton-EUD, Monroe, and Shelby as well as the Fayetteville Public Works Commission, New River Light and Power, Wilson Energy, and the towns of Apex, Benson, Smithfield, Tarboro, and Wake Forest were awarded certificates of excellence for reliability.

For more information on how eReliability Tracker works, visit