In fire-prone California, experts push utilities to monitor the riskiest equipment on the grid

Jan 6, 2022
Power lines and equipment have sparked devastating blazes. Now companies are asked to take stock of their aging infrastructure.
Utilities have been making upgrades to their systems. Above, workers re-anchor a pole that suspends power lines outside Acton, California.
Lily Jamali/Marketplace

Why don't American cities have more public bathrooms?

Dec 1, 2021
Writer Elizabeth Yuko explains why Americans use toilets in private businesses instead of those maintained by the government.
"9/11 really was the final nail in the coffin for a lot of the remaining public restrooms and a lot have been closed since," says Elizabeth Yuko, a contributing writer for Bloomberg CityLab.
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The pandemic slowed global efforts to expand access to electricity

Sep 29, 2021
According to a new IEA report, the pandemic stalled progress the most in sub-Saharan Africa.
A report shows that the pandemic hindered efforts to establish access to electricity around the globe, as governments diverted resources to fighting COVID-19.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Why not bury all our power lines?

Sep 1, 2021
The upfront cost is high and the cost-benefit calculation depends and the region, experts say.
Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

California's battery-supported grid off to a slow start

Jul 13, 2021
California’s grid operator hoped new battery storage could prevent rolling blackouts. Installation has been delayed.
The sun shines over towers carrying electical lines in South San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California blackouts trigger debate about electric grid resilience

Aug 28, 2020
A heat wave and record levels of electricity demand are straining infrastructure.
Investments in grids were already falling, and COVID-19 has slowed down upgrades even further.
Brent Stirton/Getty Images

California blackouts reflect a complicated supply-and-demand problem

Aug 17, 2020
The load can overwhelm the electric grid during heat waves, but this summer's outages have raised new questions.
A sign in Calistoga, California, calls on PG&E to turn the electricity back on during a statewide blackout in October 2019.
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

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Stop utility shut-offs during COVID-19 crisis, NAACP Legal Defense Fund president says

"We would love to have a nationwide moratorium on all utility shut-offs, but every day, turn-offs are happening," Sherrilyn Ifill says.
Some states have worked to stop utility shut-offs, including Maryland, Kansas and Kentucky.
Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images

PG&E due in bankruptcy court

Nov 19, 2019
PG&E's power grid infrastructure has been blamed for wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
A fallen PG&E utility pole lays on a property burned during the Kincade Fire in Healdsburg, California on Oct. 28, 2019.
Philip Pachecho/AFP via Getty Images

Georgia Power wants a rate hike. Some of its customers wonder why.

Oct 25, 2019
The utility's parent company brought in more than $2 billion in profits last year.
Dozens of people gathered outside the Georgia Public Service Commission building to protest Georgia Power’s proposal to raise electric rates.
Emma Hurt/WABE