History & Mission Statement
Humboldt Utilities is a municipal entity which furnishes electric, gas, and water/sewer services to nearly 5,000 customers in Humboldt and the surrounding area. Humboldt Utilities is operated by a five member Board of Public Utilities with four members appointed to staggered four year terms and the fifth member representing the Mayor and Board of Alderman.
Utility operations and capital improvements are financed entirely with revenues from the sale of electricity, natural gas and water-sewer services. Although Humboldt Utilities is municipally owned, it receives no tax money from the City. In fact, Humboldt Utilities is the largest taxpayer to the City of Humboldt’s general fund through in-lieu-of tax payments which are calculated according to State Law. In fiscal year 2015-2016 Humboldt Utilities paid $384,773.34 in-lieu-of tax payments to the City.
Electricity - In the early 1900’s electric power was available in Humboldt from privately owned sources. In 1933 Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and in 1939 the City of Humboldt purchased the electric system from West Tennessee Power and Light Company and became a publicly owned distributor of TVA power.
Humboldt Utilities has for many years furnished its customers with some of the lowest priced electric power in the entire TVA region. Humboldt residential customers enjoy lower bills, and commercial and industrial customers have a competitive edge in the market place.
Electricity is supplied from a 161 kV substation and three 69 kV substations which are strategically located along a radial 69 kV feeder system which encircles the city. The Department also has a 69 kV back-up line, which connects to a new 161 station located six miles north of the city. The back-up source, which is sized to carry the entire load of the City of Humboldt, gives additional reliability in case of emergencies.
Natural Gas - In 1959 the natural gas system was purchased from West Tennessee Gas Company.
Natural gas is supplied to Humboldt Utilities through the pipelines of Texas Gas Transmission Corporation. Humboldt Utilities joined forces with Jackson Energy Authority (Jackson, TN) and Brownsville Utilities (Brownsville, TN) to form Tennergy Corporation, a municipal entity that is an energy acquisition corporation. Tennergy helps guarantee a reliable supply of natural gas at a considerable discount below the spot market price to its members.
Tennergy also provides some 15 – 20 member affiliates with management skills, engineering services, storage and operational expertise, and design and technical assistance.
Water & Sewer - Humboldt is blessed with an abundant supply of fresh, pure water supplied from underground wells. Humboldt is one of the few Tennessee cities to receive a rating of 100 for its water system. The Water and Wastewater Plant facilities have complete diesel powered back-up generation capable of operating for extended periods of time in case of an emergency. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 the wastewater treatment plant received the KY - TN Operational Excellence Award for continued outstanding operation of the wastewater treatment plant.
Summary - Humboldt Utilities has been the benchmark in West Tennessee for low rates and excellent service for many years. The Department has a reputation for being one of the most reliable and “customer friendly” utilities anywhere in the area.
The electric, gas, and water/sewer systems are modern and well maintained. All departments are financially strong with adequate reserve funds and very little debt. These factors allow the utility to maintain very low rates without sacrificing service excellence, and assures that future rate increases will be minimal.