Greenville Utilities Commission

Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC)

Greenville Utilities is guided and managed by an eight-member Board of Commissioners.  These local citizens represent the interests of all GUC customers and help make decisions that support local needs and values.  The Board’s primary responsibilities are to set and maintain competitive rates and approve development plans and the annual budget.  The Board also establishes all operating and extension policies carried out by the General Manager/CEO.

The General Manager/CEO has the overall management responsibility for Greenville Utilities.  The Management Team, which consists of the Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer, directors of the three operating departments ( Electric, Water Resources, and Natural Gas) and four support departments (Information Technology, Finance, Customer Relations, and Human Resources), works to support the General Manager/CEO in the management of the organization.

The General Manager is Tony Cannon. He may be reached at 401 S. Greene Street, Greenville, North Carolina, 27834 (telephone 252-551-1500),


Greenville Utilities provides electric service to over 66,000 customers in the City of Greenville and 75% of Pitt County (FY2017). Purchased power is supplied by Duke Energy Progress through 230 kV transmission lines serving three point-of-delivery substations.  In order to distribute electricity to its customers, GUC owns and operates 77 miles of high voltage transmission lines at 115 kV and 34.5 kV, as well as 1180 miles of overhead and 1627 miles of underground distribution lines at 12.5 kV. The electric system consists of 19 distribution substations with a load capacity in excess of 776 MVA, as well as two point-of-delivery transmission substations and two sub-transmission substations.

GUC is a member of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) and participates in the purchase of electricity through a cooperative wholesale purchase agreement with Duke Energy Progress. NCEMPA consists of 32 eastern North Carolina municipal power providers of which GUC is the largest member.  For additional information on NCEMPA, go to:

Rates: Retail rates are based on a true cost-of-service philosophy and each class of customer pays its own fair share. There are no tilt rates providing fictitiously low rates to one class at the expense of another. Industrial customers participate in GUC’s Coincident Peak (CP) Rate Program.  This rate program enables the customer to achieve significant savings on their energy costs. For additional information on rates, go to:

Customer Mix: GUC has a broad base of customers with demand allocation of 43% residential, 27% commercial, and 30% industrial service. Critical customers such as, Vidant Medical Center, DSM Dyneema, and Thermo Fisher Scientific are provided with redundant backup power sources should an emergency occur.

Load Management: In 1978, GUC was one of the first municipal utilities in the nation to implement load management (Beat-the-Peak) to control the demand component of its cost of power. Approximately 27% of GUC’s residential customers voluntarily allow GUC to install radio-controlled switches on their central air conditioning units, heat pumps, heat pump supplemental strips, electric furnaces, and water heaters. During periods of peak demand, these devices are cycled off to lower total demand, significantly reducing wholesale power costs. A portion of these savings is credited directly back to the participating customers; the remainder is reinvested and used to hold down overall electric rates. GUC currently has an estimated 40,079 device controls.

As part of the Load Management program, GUC operates diesel-engine peak-shaving generators at 12 industrial and large customer sites. These units are used to reduce the electrical demand during coincident peaking periods. The host customers receive a credit each month equal to a percentage of the demand savings accrued when the devices are operating. Additionally, the generators are available to supply limited standby power in the event of extended interruption of electric service.

Underground: GUC installed its first residential subdivision underground in 1965 and has provided underground electrical service to subdivisions, commercial developments and industrial complexes since that date. GUC has on hand a fully equipped response trailer for rapidly locating and correcting underground problems should they occur.

System Control and Reliability: The Commission’s transmission and distribution substations are monitored and controlled by state-of-the-art computer-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment. System loading and equipment status is continuously monitored by this equipment with all disturbances and deviations from prescribed limits immediately reported to GUC’s dispatch control center for analysis. This facility is staffed twenty-four hours a day, providing the ultimate in customer service.

System reliability and availability is extremely high, particularly for the industrial sector. Most industrial customers are served by high-capacity dedicated distribution feeder circuits engineered for maximum service reliability. Redundancy of design is often characteristic of these facilities. Overall system availability exceeds 99.99%.

Staffing: Design and engineering for the 34.5 kV transmission and 12.47 kV distribution system is performed by GUC’s own engineering staff; outside consultants provide engineering services for the 115 kV transmission and substation projects. Additionally, the department’s line operations personnel perform most major construction, utilizing contract crews for short-term needs and major substation and transmission projects.

Contact: Roger G. Jones, Director of Electric Systems (252) 551-1580


Water Treatment/Distribution

The Water Treatment Plant (WTP), placed in service in January 1983 and upgraded in 2002, provides the majority of the drinking water for 35,675 GUC customers (2017) with a limited amount of water supplied by eight deep wells. Current capacity is 22.5 mgd. The deep wells bring the total water available on any one day to 24.5 mgd. Average day treatment is 12.570 mgd (2016) with a peak day demand of 17.779 mgd (2015).

Raw water for this plant is drawn from the Tar River. The raw water pump station has a rated pumping capacity of over 22.5 mgd and can be expanded. The Tar River has always provided more than adequate flows to meet all peak system demands.  Recently completed river modeling indicates the Utilities Commission may be able to realize an average day withdrawal of 128 mgd.

Water is pumped from the river to an 8 acre, 63 million gallon impoundment basin where the water is kept for five days while solids settle to the bottom. A coagulant is added to facilitate further settling of solids as the water enters the WTP. The settled water receives ozone for primary disinfection. The water then passes through filters, receives chlorine and ammonia to form chloramines for secondary disinfection, and is pumped into two 3 million gallon ground storage tanks. Treated water enters the distribution system via 36 and 24 inch mains from the water plant. Water is delivered to customers through more than 628 miles of piping ranging in size from two to thirty-six inches in diameter.

Storage: GUC has a two-tank elevated storage system consisting of 1.5 million gallon and 1 million gallon tanks, providing increased water pressure and a reserve for fire protection. Total storage, including the two, 3 million gallon ground storage tanks at the water treatment plant, currently amounts to 8.5 million gallons. Plans include the addition of a 3.0 mg ground storage tank and an additional 2.0 MG elevated storage tank in the next five years to increase water storage capacity.

GUC also is nearing completion of its industry-leading Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project, the first of its kind in North Carolina. ASR is the storing of treated drinking water in underground aquifers (sand deposits) during low system water demand periods and recovering or using the water during the high system demand periods. This process allows GUC to store large volumes of treated drinking water for a fraction of the cost of storing water in above ground tanks. ASR has the potential to provide in excess of 300 million gallons of stored drinking water for use in emergencies or for peak shaving. To date, the construction phase of the ASR facility is essentially complete and a period of cycle testing has begun.

Contact: Randy Emory, Director of Water Resources, (252) 551-1554


Wastewater Collection/Treatment

The wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located on a 700 acre site 1.5 miles east of the City’s extraterritorial limits on the north side of the Tar River, was placed on-line in 1985 as a 10.5 mgd capacity facility and was expanded in 1995 to a 17.5 mgd tertiary treatment facility with nitrogen and phosphorus removal capabilities. The expanded facility provides additional protection for the environment and public health while exceeding state and federal regulations as well as continued opportunity for the community to grow. The WWTP treats an average of 10.426 million gallons of wastewater per day for its 28,435 customers (2013).

The wastewater collection system includes over 403 miles of gravity pipeline and 76 miles of pressure pipeline ranging in size from four to 48 inches in diameter and 38 pump stations with their associated force mains. These pipes and pump stations collect and transport wastewater to the WWTP where it is treated prior to being returned to the Tar River. The discharged effluent adheres to the target limits for total nitrogen and total phosphorus as part of a membership in the Tar-Pamlico Basin Association.

The Utilities Commission operates an Industrial Pretreatment program which currently has seven participants:  Hyster-Yale, DSM Dyneema, Thermo Fisher Scientific, The Hammock Source, Fuji Silysia, and Mayne Pharma, Inc.

Residual Management: In 2005, GUC completed construction of a dewatering facility to reduce the amount of water in the biological residue from the treatment process (biosolids). The biosolids are transported to a private compost facility where they are mixed with organic fillers and processed to produce compost.

Contact: Randy Emory, Director of Water Resources, (252) 551-1554.


Natural Gas

The Greenville Utilities gas distribution system consists of approximately 614 miles of distribution mains and 440 miles of service lines supplied by five city gate stations and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) peak-shaving plant. The city gate stations reduce the transmission pipeline gas pressure from 350-740 psig before it enters the 60 psig MAOP distribution system, which serves approximately 23,066 customers (2016) throughout an 88 square mile service area in Pitt County. During FY 2016, Greenville Utilities sold 2,983,443 mcf of natural gas, 32% of which was to industrial/interruptible customers.

In January 2010, Greenville Utilities’ maximum daily quantity (MDQ) of pipeline capacity was increased from 15,500DT/d to 20,000 DT/d through a 10-year contract with Piedmont Natural Gas. This increased MDQ reduces the frequency of interruptible customer curtailments, minimizes the risk of exceeding MDQ during peak periods, and closes the gap between the MDQ and design peak day demand of approximately 27,000 DTs. It also creates the opportunity to explore alternatives for utilizing excess capacity during off-peak demand periods.

Gas Purchasing Choices: Greenville Utilities offers large industrial customers various choices for purchasing natural gas. One of the choices is multiple month pricing for interruptible customers. Gas purchasing staff can secure natural gas for a specific period, varying from one to twenty-four months, at a guaranteed rate when natural gas market prices are favorable, which can result in significant savings. Interruptible customers also have the choice to utilize option strategies, such as call options or collars, to hedge their fuel needs.

As part of our strategy to provide personalized service, a number of rate structures are available including firm industrial and commercial tiered rates, as well as a seasonal rate for customers whose consumption occurs primarily between April and October. Greenville Utilities also offers an LNG storage rate. Interruptible customers using more than 30 MCF per day are required to install dual-fuel equipment and alternate fuel facilities. Industries may avoid the capital expenditures for alternate fuel facilities by choosing the LNG storage rate.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Storage Facility: In 1997, GUC became the first public utility in North Carolina to construct a permanent LNG facility to meet peak demand. The LNG storage facility is located on Old Pactolus Road near GUC’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Since that time, the LNG plant has been expanded on three separate occasions. The initial LNG Plant consisted of two 55,000 gallon LNG storage tanks and one vaporizer. The original sizing allowed for a total of 8,200 DT to be stored at any given time with the capability of vaporizing LNG at a rate of 500 mcfh.

The expansions to the LNG Plant took place as part of a two-phase project. In 2001, Phase I of the Expansion Project was constructed, which included the addition of two more 55,000 gallon LNG storage tanks and a new control room building, increasing the LNG storage capacity of the facility to approximately 15,200 dekatherms. The Phase II Expansion Project was further divided into two parts, IIA and IIB. Part IIA, completed during 2007, consisted of doubling the vaporization capabilities of the LNG Plant from 500 mcfh to 1,000 mcfh by adding a second vaporizer. Also included in this phase were the addition of three water/glycol heaters, upgraded water/glycol pump skid with control panel, an upgraded instrument air compressor system, and the necessary expansion of the fire/gas detection and suppression systems. Phase IIB, the final expansion of the facility, was completed in 2015 and consisted of the installation of two additional 55,000 gallon LNG storage tanks (tanks 5 and 6),, an additional truck unloading skid, construction of a third LNG remote impoundment area, and necessary expansion(s) of the fire and gas detection, lightning protection, and security systems. The LNG Storage Facility now offers nearly 23,000 DT’s of storage on site, allows for the unloading of two tanker trucks simultaneously, and is capable of vaporizing 1,000 DT’s of LNG per hour.

Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Facility: In September 2015, GUC expanded its natural gas services to include Pitt County’s first public access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility. The station is located at 290 Easy Street in Greenville with convenient access to US-264 and Greenville’s Industrial Park. The facility is open 24-hours per day, seven days a week and makes CNG available for purchase using MasterCard, Visa, Discover and Wright Express.

The station currently houses equipment to operate two fueling islands, but can be expanded to operate up to four islands if needed in the future. Each dispenser on the island houses one heavy duty nozzle for larger trucks and one light duty nozzle for passenger vehicles.

The natural gas purchasing strategies implemented by the Gas Department, combined with the utilization of the LNG facility during times of peak demand, allow us to meet our customers’ needs for their facilities at competitive rates. With the addition of the CNG fueling facility, GUC is able to meet our customers’ needs for their fleets as well.

Contact: Anthony Miller, Director of Gas Systems, (252) 551-1590.