View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

Public Utilities Board Considers Utility Name Change

ALAMEDA, Calif., January 16, 2009 –At the January 15 Public Utilities Board Annual Planning Workshop, the Board discussed renaming the community's municipal electric utility, Alameda Power & Telecom.

Ann McCormick, President of the Board explained, "How our utility is identified should be reflective of its purpose.  We are running only one business."

Of the suggestions and proposals provided to the Board, several names were the subjects of extended discussion.  They included:

  • Alameda Green Power (AGE)
  • Alameda Municipal Electric (AME)
  • Alameda Municipal Power (AMP)
  • Alameda Power (AP)
  • Alameda Community Power (ACP).

"We're inviting our resident-owners' feedback on the proposals," said utility General Manager Girish Balachandran.  Alamedans can participate in an informal 'focus group' on our web site at"  Staff expects to present a recommendation to the Board at its next meeting on January 26.

The present name, Alameda Power & Telecom, dates back to 1999, when the utility was initiating provision of cable television and Internet services to the community.  At the time, Alameda was underserved by the incumbent cable provider, and Alameda Power & Telecom was able to offer competition to Alameda's residents and businesses.  The telecommunications landscape has changed, however, and Alamedans have a variety of telecommunications providers from which to choose.  After careful consideration and deliberation, the Public Utilities Board voted in November of last year to sell the telecommunications business line to another provider.

"The Annual Planning Workshop process has been particularly significant this year as we return our focus solely on our core electric business," McCormick continued.  "The process ensures that utility operations are aligned with customer expectations, community goals, and City direction and also that we are appropriately anticipating and addressing future challenges.  It's appropriate that our utility's name meet these same standards."

"Any name change must meet three criteria.  It must be cost-effective, quickly implemented, and enduring," noted Balachandran.  He highlighted that the present logo and color scheme still serve to illustrate ownership by Alameda residents, the utility's core services of providing light and energy, and Alameda's exemplary clean power portfolio.  "For these reasons, staff has not recommended any change to these brand elements," he continued.

Over the past 121 years, the oldest municipal electric utility west of the Mississippi River has been known by such common names as, "the Municipal Electric Light Plant," "the Department of Public Utilities," "the Bureau of Electricity," and, most recently, as "Alameda Power & Telecom."