Ann Arborites Rally for Energy Grid Buyout
City Government receives record number of calls supporting Municipalization
Last Tuesday, Feb. 9th, Ann Arbor’s Energy commission was inundated with calls from Ann Arbor residents who voiced their support for Municipalization. Municipalization is the process of transitioning from using a private utility, in this case the private energy utility DTE, towards using a city owned public utility.
The meeting included a presentation from Ann Arbor for Public Power (A2P2), a citizen led coalition of several local organizations including Huron Valley DSA, Ann Arbor Indivisible, Sunrise Movement, Climate Action Movement, Washtenaw 350, Ann Arbor Beyond Bernie, and more. A2P2 presented evidence that municipal energy utilities provide cheaper and more reliable power, while also arguing that it could allow the city to reach it’s 2030 carbon neutrality goals without the need for changing state laws, which the current plan adopted by city council requires.
The presentation was the result of months of work by a coalition of residents concerned about energy democracy and sustainability. 19 community members called in to make public comments expressing their support for the creation of a municipal energy utility. Both state senator Jeff Irwin and state representative Yousef Rabhi were among the commenters calling in favor of an electric energy utility.
A2P2 indicated that the next step in the process towards municipalization would be a feasibility study to determine the costs and challenges associated with establishing a municipal energy utility. The coalition, with the backing of 19 citizens who called in support, urged the energy commission to pursue a feasibility study with urgency.