(Tom Joyce) – Arizona and Nevada top the list of states with the most reliable electrical utilities, according to a report from the Citizens Utility Board.
Arizona had a strong performance in the rankings overall. The state has the third-shortest duration of power outages, the second-shortest time to restore power per customer, and the sixth-fewest power outages overall. Meanwhile, Nevada ranked fourth, third, and third in those categories, respectively.
Jim Chilsen, Communications Director of CUB, told The Center Square there is a key reason why states like Arizona and Nevada have reliable utilities.
“We’ve found states that have a larger clean energy portfolio do better in the rankings,” he said. “But we acknowledge the complexity of each state’s energy story. This report is just a first step. We are planning to do econometric reviews to get more at the WHY of these rankings.”
On the other hand, West Virginia, known for its coal mining production, was near the bottom of the list in terms of reliable energy. It ranked 50th, 47th, and 51st in three categories: power outage duration, time to restore power per customer, and overall shortages.
One of the northernmost states also fared poorly on the list: Maine. The northern New England state ranked 51st, 50th, and 50th in the three categories. Maine’s problem is largely weather conditions, including snow and high winds, according to Bangor Daily News.
The report marks a broad expansion of coverage for the Illinois-based watchdog.
“We’re still Illinois’ utility consumer watchdog,” Chilsen said. “But given how big a challenge climate change is, CUB and other consumer advocates realize that we need more than just one-state solutions. Climate change is so big that we’re trying to contribute to a nationwide discussion on the fastest, cheapest ways to combat this problem and reach 100% clean energy. Our work is getting more regional and national because the issues are getting more regional and national.”
Tom Joyce | The Center Square contributor