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This website in intended to become a go-to place for advocates, electeds, and city staff that are interested in municipalizing.

Municipalization (MuniZ) means a city or county taking control of its electric or gas system from an Investor Owned Utility (IOU) or Rural Electric Cooperative (Coop). Muni101 will focus on electricity systems.

There are more than two thousand “Munis” (municipal electric companies) in the United States. On the whole they enjoy:

  1. Bulletrates that are lower & more stable,

  2. Bullethigher reliability,

  3. Bulletand greater responsiveness to residents

than IOUs or Coops can provide.

The act of municipalizing will likely be viewed as a hostile takeover by the incumbent utility.

There are four reasons cities and counties choose MuniZ - the four Rs.

  1. BulletRates - IOUs are legally required to put investor interests over customer interests. This often results in short-sighted decisions and ever-increasing rates.

  2. BulletReliability - IOUs through carelessness and deliberate action often invest in large capital projects over maintenance and linemen for existing systems.

  3. BulletRenewables - IOUs and Coops are choosing massive investments in coal & nuclear power plants. But baseload coal & nuclear limit the amount of renewables that an electric system can support.

  4. BulletResponsibility - Call this local control. Munis are focused on what their residents want. If that is lower rates or better reliability - great. Or local jobs and economic development. Or leading the fight on climate change. Or not installing smart meters if residents don’t want them. Put another way, IOUs are about shareholder profit... munis are about purpose.

Most successful MuniZs have been focused on one or two of the 4 Rs. For example, Gainesville & Winter Park, Florida, were mostly about reliability - the incumbent IOU was not keeping the lights on. In both cases, reliability is greatly improved, rates are kept competitive, and the new munis offer much more innovative options to their customers.

Over time, this website will grow to become a repository of high-level and detailed information about successful MuniZ including:

  1. Bullettechnical, political, and organizational information.

  2. BulletWhat data will you need and want.

  3. BulletTactics that IOUs and Coops will use to fight MuniZ.

  4. BulletLessons learned and case studies from cities that are or have attempted to MuniZ.

In the short term, feel free to contact us if your city is considering becoming a municipal electric.

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