This story was originally published by Inside Climate News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Clyde, Ohio, with a population of around 6,000, has two electric grids. One is owned by the city. The other, now serving just a handful of customers, is controlled by a subsidiary of a utility that provides electricity to 6 million customers across five states. When Clyde residents voted to localize their electricity in the 1980s, buying the existing grid was exceedingly expensive, so they built their own.
Clyde made the switch because of money. At the time, the city manager thought the town was paying too much, and a study commissioned by the City Council confirmed that a locally run electric system would save residents and local businesses $62 million over the next decade. When electricity began flowing through the new lines, customers of the new utility paid 25 percent less than they had to the legacy provider.
Decades later, a number of localities in the United States a... Read more