The role of economics has greatly influenced electrification in rural sections of the Appalachian Mountains. Locally, in western North Carolina, the economics of electrification has affected the business policies of NP&L and the fiscal stability of many surrounding counties.

While NP&L offered the lowest rates and created a large consumer base for electricity, it also accumulated a debt. Since its opening in 1929, the NP&L division of ALCOA consistently offered the lowest rates for electricity among other local electric companies. The low rates created a higher demand for electrification. Between 1933 and 1936, the number of NP&L customers rose from roughly 510 to nearly 720. Comparatively, from the 1945 Meter Reading Schedule NP&L customers amounted to 3,741, excluding local factories and businesses. The increase of customers caused a rise not only in the total kilo-watt hours produced, but it also raised the company's total revenue and improved the fiscal stability of some rural communities.

While the company maintained a consistent demand for electricity from its rural communities, ALCOA annually lost money through its 17 million dollar investment in NP&L. NP&L had the highest investment rate per customer, per farm because of the scattered, rural population of its customers. NP&L did not serve large businesses or towns that exceeded 2,000 in population and the average income per farm, per square mile was well below the average for the state of North Carolina. Yet, according to a taxation valuation appeal the company's earnings amounted to 2.8% of invested capital with little to no prospect for an increase.

In conclusion, NP&L shaped local communities through its service of rural electrification. More specifically, the company's total revenue affected the economic stability of some local communities. In turn, these communities have shaped the business practices, policies, and fiscal existence of NP&L. In addition, the company even raised the taxation value throughout the state of North Carolina.

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