Vote in local, state, and federal elections
Participate in your democracy by registering to vote and regularly voting in elections for representatives at all levels of government—from local to state and federal—who represent your interests on issues including electricity.
Local officials have the power to set municipal and community goals concerning electricity generation and use, establish public-private partnerships, build public infrastructure that can encourage or discourage smart energy use, and much more. At the state level, elected officials can set budgets and energy policy, such as setting a Renewable Portfolio Standard establishing a minimum level of energy provided in the state from renewable sources.
The Public Service Commission, which is charged with regulating invester-owned and municipal utilities, determining electricity rates, and managing the statewide Focus on Energy program, is headed by three appointed commissioners. Tom Content, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, explains: “Commissioners are political appointees. This means that state elections have a tendency to shape the policies at the PSC, much in the same way that Presidential elections shape the Supreme Court. Additionally, there are things that fall outside the powers of the PSC that only the legislature has the power to change. So again, politics matter. Voting matters.”
If you belong to a co-op check out Co-ops Vote, a nonpartisan project aimed at educating co-operative members on issues important to electric co-ops and encouraging voting.