A sign above the drive-thru payment window of the New Bern Utilities Building states “Thank you for your business.”

While I paid my bill I was touched by the appreciation the city has for resident business but wonder why it’s necessary.  The city has a monopoly on the selling of electricity to New Bernians unless residents happen to be serviced by Duke Energy.  

The alternative to doing “business” with the city is to do without — or put up some form of alternative energy source, not a likely alternative for most residents.

Maybe the sign should read “Thank for not doing without — but it you don’t pay promptly we can help there, too.”

John Phaup, New Bern

Ed’s note: Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Bern Post … although in this case it does.


  1. Utilities (electricity, garbage, water) are the only things in New Bern that are MORE expensive than in Northern Virginia. And that’s sad.

  2. Show me a city in the US where you have a choice in utilities and I’ll move there. We live in a market moving closer and closer to an oligopoly … not a monopoly. At least, we can have a direct interaction with those in charge.

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