Description of System
About the System
The Borough of Ephrata Electric Division dates back to 1902, when the borough purchased the utility from Lancaster Valley Electric Company for $7,000. The purchase included a small generating plant located on south State Street where the borough operated the electric utility until 1923. In 1924, the Ephrata Borough Electric Plant was built along Church Avenue. The borough generated electricity from that site until 1965 when increasing demands for electric power caused the borough to begin purchasing electric power.
Full requirements contracts with a sole electricity supplier were the norm until deregulation of the electricity markets took effect in 2009. Now the borough has adopted a Long Term Power Supply Plan that is rooted in the principle of diversity. The plan involves the purchase of a variety of electricity products from a variety of sources with contracts consisting of various lengths of time. An important source of electricity is actual power generation. The borough and other municipal power partners have joined together to own and operate power generation facilities. Although the borough may own just a small portion of the output of a large power plant, these types of long term power sources offer the borough the advantage of market stability. With our own sources of generation we can obtain the power at cost and avoid other charges imposed by middle men.
The activities of the Electric Division are under the auspices of the Municipal Enterprises Committee of the Borough Council. The borough distributes approximately 140 million-kilowatt hours of power annually and has about $18.6 million dollars in sales. The Electric Division is operated for the sole benefit of the borough. As a municipal power supplier we have no shareholders, pay no dividends, and all proceeds from the sale of electricity stay within the borough to provide additional services and amenities for the residents of the community.
The nine employees in the Electric Division maintain the electric system that distributes power to approximately 6,806 meters within the borough limits. The American Public Power Association recently honored the borough as an RP3 Platinum Award winner. What the RP3 Platinum level award means to Ephrata Borough residents is that they have a reliable, sustainable system that is maintained by skilled people who go about their work safely and efficiently.
Our electric system is an asset that should be a source of pride for the whole community. It’s a system in which we invest significant time, training, and manpower. We are building a system that will endure the test of time, providing safe, affordable, and reliable power now and well into the future.