Tried and True Solutions

Consumer-owned utilities are nothing new! Across the country, these community-focused utilities serve more than 25% of Americans! Read about their success below. 

Winter Park, FL: Improving Reliability

Despite the scare tactics used against them in 2003, Winter Park, Florida voted to get rid of Progress Energy. They have since purchased the grid, undergrounded their lines to prevent outages even amid hurricanes, and still reduced rates relative to their neighbors.

Long Island, NY: Rates Dropped 20% on Day One

Long Island, New York did the same in 1998. Their deal, negotiated by a Republican governor to win the support of the outgoing for-profit utility, included a big extra challenge: ratepayers had to pick up the tab for a dead nuclear power plant. Yet even with this massive extra cost, the new utility (LIPA) reduced rates by 20% on day one.

Boulder, CO: Moving Mountains to Get An Entire State to Renewables

When Boulder, CO began working to take back its power from Xcel, over 85% of Xcel’s power came from coal, oil and natural gas. Under pressure from Boulder’s vote in favor of public power, Xcel first fought back, but then agreed to major concessions: Xcel will help Boulder achieve 100% clean energy by 2030. Equally important, Xcel will reduce its overall, 2005 statewide carbon emissions by 80% by 2030! The city also retains the right to terminate the Xcel franchise, and the agreement even contains conditions to make this easier.

Nebraska: Statewide Success

Nebraska abolished for-profit monopoly utilities in the 1940s. Today, despite frequent tornadoes, Nebraska has some of the cheapest power and the fewest outages. It is also the only “red” state with a net zero clean energy goal – a goal set not by legislators, but by the elected boards of the public power utilities.

And in Maine, the Case is Even Clearer

Maine has every right and reason to take back its power. By almost every measure, ours are the worst-performing utilities in the U.S. And in addition, we have major legal and economic advantages most of our predecessors did not.

Legally, Boulder experienced significant delays because of questions about the city limits and jurisdiction. Maine’s proposal has no such challenge, and was given a legal and constitutional “green light” in the independent LEI analysis for our own Public Utility Commission.

Economically, Winter Park, Jefferson County and Boulder needed to re-engineer the local grid to be able to operate it separately from the existing utility. This adds additional “separation costs.” Because Maine’s proposal is for an entire system and requires no separation, we can save even more.

No wonder the unpaid, Maine-based economists who have looked at our proposal have found that we’ll be better off with Pine Tree Power from day one!

For Maine, the case is even clearer than it was for most of these cases. If you want more money in your pocket, control over your energy future, and fewer outages, vote “yes” on Pine Tree Power.