That could describe a lot of things these days, but in this case we’re talking the ElectriCities deal:

Residents of these communities are often flummoxed by this odd system, in which municipalities in the ElectriCities network act as a middleman of sorts, buying power and then reselling it to customers. The concept is a product of the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when energy prices spiked. Communities looking for a long-term stability banded together and invested in power generating plants. The debt incurred when these cities invested in generating plants and built distribution systems is figured into residents’ power bills.

Meanwhile, energy prices stabilized. Residents of ElectriCities are now stuck paying off debt that won’t expire until 2026, while their counterparts with regional cooperatives and Duke Energy enjoy cheaper electricity. Over time, that additional cost can run into thousands of dollars per customer.

Closer to home —High Point’s ElectriCities legacy.