Cost of Electricity


As a modern high tech industrial city, we realize utility cost is an important part of a business’ decision to locate and remain in a community. Cost is one thing, but reliability is also a component. We know this because we ask.

That’s right; we don’t always get every company we work with to locate in our region. If we don’t, we like to follow up with them, a debrief of sorts. Sometimes it comes down to pennies per kilowatt, other times it is where the spouse wants to be close to etc…

While in Italy last week it was apparent to me that electricity was expensive. It wasn’t rocket science. I just noticed that even in offices that were being used, the lights were off. They also use a lot of natural light in their factory design and people turn off the light as they leave the room (ask any of my 4 daughters about this Auger household rule). So, I asked, and sure enough electricity is very expensive in Italy.

Now, being the not so bright but curious guy that I am, when I returned home I did a little research. It seems that most of the world receives about 39% of their electric power by coal. In comparison, Italy only generates just over 10% of its electricity by utilizing coal. Compare that to the rest of the European Union who produce about 33% of its electricity by coal.

The world also utilized nuclear power to supply about 20% of the electricity and Europe as an entity creates electricity by nuclear power at just over 30%. So how do they create electricity? Natural Gas. They import 85% from Algeria and Russia.

I would hope people across the state and country realizes some of these issues and utilizes our position and resources to enhance people doing business here. A great balance and diversified position with low cost structure goes a long way and provides for so many.

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  • Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager

    Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.