Local governments can own and operate municipal utilities as not-for-profit ventures. Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) on the other hand, which function as profit-driven private businesses, serve most customers in the U.S.. Electric Cooperatives fall somewhere in between the two. Like municipal utilities, they operate as not-for-profit enterprises, but governed by their customers rather than local governments.
America’s cities, as centers of population growth and energy consumption, must lead the way in building a grid powered by clean, renewable energy. However, state policies can have a sizeable impact on a city’s ability to expand solar energy. Research shows that solar energy policies – more than the availability of sunshine – dictate which states and, by extension, cities have successful solar industries and which do not. Cities can shine brighter when their state’s energy policy landscape supports renewable energy development, and should advocate for helpful state policies in addition to shaping their own.
Environment America Research & Policy Center
1543 Wazee Street, Suite 410, Denver, CO 80202
Ph: (303) 801-0581
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Environment America Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.