MAP: California Communities That Supply Their Own Power

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A PG&E worker cuts damaged power lines on November 13, 2018. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

After PG&E’s bankruptcy filing in January, San Francisco Mayor London Breed asked the city’s Public Utilities Commission to explore the feasibility of operating its own public power grid and scrapping the giant investor-owned utility .

In a preliminary report issued Monday, the SFPUC said the prospect of the city managing its own electrical grid is very much within the realm of possibility.

Although dumping PG&E would be a monumental transition and undertaking for the city of nearly 900,000 residents, San Francisco would be in good company. In fact, there are more than 40 publicly owned power providers throughout California, a mix of municipal and community-managed operators, according to the latest data available from the California Energy Commission.

They range from the city of Needles on the state’s easternmost edge, with 3,000 accounts, to the massive Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal utility in the United States, which has upward 1.5 million accounts and over 4 million customers.

The map below shows all the publicly owned utilities listed by the CEC, based on 2017 data. Note that it does not include any community choice aggregation programs (CCAs).