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In wake of mass power outages, Ann Arbor organization pushes for public power utility

Power Outage
Wikipedia Media Commons
Power outage

Residents who lost power after the ice storm in Washtenaw County gathered to voice their frustration at the Pittsfield Township Library Sunday. Officials with the organization “Ann Arbor for Public Power”were listening and offered a new approach to utility service.

Ann Arbor for Public Power believes investor-owned utilities do not have the public’s best interests in mind.

Greg Woodring, the president of the organization, says corporations like DTE and Consumers Energyare motivated by profits. He says a publicly-owned enterprise would improve service.

“Public power utilities are incentivized to invest in their infrastructure. They are a not-for-profit enterprise that’s really only motivated by providing the best service possible because the board that runs the utility is either appointed or elected by the people that they serve.”

Last year, Ann Arbor for Public Power spearheaded a feasibility study. The goal is to determine if it makes financial sense for the city to buy out DTE and assume control of its infrastructure.

A report on if Ann Arbor can run a utility at comparable rates will be completed in June.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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