A municipal electric utility is a city-owned utility that provides electric power to all its residents. There are currently 41 Michigan cities and towns served by munis. Last night’s vote culminates a nearly year-long community discussion about exploring the muni option as a way to power Ann Arbor’s local electric grid with 100 percent renewable energy, a core strategy of the city’s A2Zero climate action plan. Ann Arbor for Public Power, a nonprofit grassroots organization, has been leading the muni effort. We commissioned and released a study outlining a legal roadmap to municipalization, made multiple presentations to Energy Commission and to various community organizations, and collected over 1,200 signatures from Ann Arbor residents supporting a muni feasibility study.
Last night’s resolution included a recommendation that the city ensure a just transition for workers in its energy decisions.
Finally, the Energy Commission’s resolution also asked Council to move forward on a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU). An SEU is a city-owned nonprofit that helps residents make homes more energy efficient, install solar panels, and convert from gas appliances to electric, by providing an alternative to DTE Energy. It also seeks to convert buildings to self-powering microgrids. Ann Arbor for Public Power strongly supports the SEU.
Ann Arbor for Public Power looks forward to working with the City Council in January on its feasibility study resolution. We will continue promoting community discussion around municipalization in the coming year, as we work towards an eventual voter referendum to establish a city-owned electric utility to replace DTE Energy.
Executive Director – Ann Arbor for Public Power
President – Ann Arbor for Public Power