Skip to main content
Cooperativize-PGE-e1576187815956-1024x552.jpg

Power for the People: How PG&E’s failures are spurring a movement toward electric cooperatives

It’s no surprise that northern Californians are disaffected with the investor-owned electric utility. They’ve been found culpable for gas line explosions, for some of the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfires, for diverting safety money toward profits and executive bonuses, and — most recently — for a grossly mismanaged series of intentional blackouts that impacted millions in the Bay Area alone. But if there’s a silver lining to the PG&E disaster, it’s that — in the midst of filing for bankruptcy — they’ve opened up the space for conversations about alternatives. And perhaps one of the most interesting of these conversations is based on the idea of transforming the utility into a network of cooperatives: utilities owned and managed by the ratepayers themselves.

“The history of co-ops in the electricity sector is fascinating,” Johanna Bozuwa, co-manager of the Climate & Energy Program at Democracy Collaborative told Shareable. “They go back as far as the 1930s, during which a key tenet of the New Deal was to provide access to electricity by creating the rural electric co-op model that continues to provide energy today.”

Publication date: 2019-12-12
Parent publication: Shareable
Publication URL: https://www.shareable.net/power-for-the-people-how-pges-failures-are-spurring-a-movement-toward-electric-cooperatives/?mode=grid

More related work

August 31, 2020
Default Image

Climate Justice Fellow

Climate Justice Fellow The Democracy Collaborative is seeking a Climate Justice Fellow to provide support to the Climate & Energy Team and advance its mission to manage a just transition off extractive, fossil fuels and design pathways towards a clean energy system based on energy democracy

read more
August 17, 2020
Default Image

Fall Research Intern

NOTE: The deadline for this application was 9/14/20 and the application window is now closed. We are currently reviewing applications and will be in touch with candidates soon. Research Internship The Democracy Collaborative is hiring for a part-time, paid intern position focused on providing

read more
July 7, 2020
The role of regional cooperative banks

The role of regional cooperative banks in community wealth building

An important shift brought about by the community wealth building movement is towards regionalizing and localizing financial flows and keeping money in communities through initiatives such as local currencies and community banks. This is now rapidly catching on in the UK.

read more