DAVIS (CBS13) – Davis city council is considering creating the city’s own utility company, possibly saving its residents a lot of money.
Twenty percent: That’s how much the city council says people in Davis will save on electricity if the city has their own utility company.
“They would like to have options,” said Councilman Lucas Frerich
Currently 30,000 Davis residents pay PG&E for power. People like Frerichs want to flip the switch, sparking a plan to have the city control electricity itself. Davis leaders are already in talks with the electricity and gas giant.
“…having conversations about what the potential costs would be if we buy the infrastructure like the power lines from PG&E,” said Frerichs.
Frerichs says the city can get bonds to buy the equipment and then pay the money back as the electricity bills are paid at a lower cost than what PG&E is charging.
“We think we can potentially do better than that,” said Frerichs.
But PG&E isn’t on board just yet.
“I don’t think they’re that excited about it. I mean, they think they’re providing a good product,” said Frerichs.
Just a few days ago, a phone survey went out to several people in Davis asking questions centered on a city-owned municipal company.
“We would only save $4 million, so it’s not worth the risk,” said Bernie Goldsmith, a community organizer.
That’s one of the talking points community organizer Goldsmith wrote down while he was given the survey.
PG&E says they didn’t pay for the survey and say, “PG&E leadership has met with staff members from the city of Davis to discuss ways to help meet the city’s energy goals which are a priority to the council.”
Something still seems strange to Bernie, who thinks someone possibly tied to the utility giant could be behind the phone survey.
“They stop people from having choices,” he said.
The city says they’re still in the early stages, but hope Davis will have its own utility company in the next two to three years.
A city council member says Davis tried to use SMUD about seven to eight years ago, but claims PG&E spent a lot of money on a campaign against it so Sacramento voted against it.