Powering Sustainability: Municipal Utilities and Local Government Policymaking
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper seeks to fill this gap in the literature with a mixed-methods approach. Data from two national surveys of local governments (n=861) conducted by the International City County Management Association are used in a pair of negative binomial regression models and reveal a positive correlation between those cities with municipal power companies and those with an increased number of community-wide sustainable energy policies. Follow-up interviews with officials indicate that the potential mechanisms by which publicly owned power companies drive municipal sustainability are the increased capacity that publicly owned utilities provide to local governments by virtue of income generated and access to grants as well as the local nature of their operations, which allows a better fit of sustainable energy measures to local circumstances. The policy implications of this paper do not necessarily point to advocacy of increased municipal ownership of power companies. Instead, the research indicates that local governments with a publicly owned power company may have important advantages that many may not be recognizing or utilizing.
- Homsy - 2015 (EPC Powering).pdf (251.9KB)