Moody's report details public power carbon transition risks, advantages

A new report from Moody’s Investors Service says that public power and electric generation and transmission cooperative utilities face rising risks from the country’s carbon transition, but also notes that public power utilities have unique attributes as compared with investor-owned utilities and cooperatives including electric rates that are materially lower than both IOUs and G&T coops.

Utilities with lower rates “will have greater flexibility in resource planning and in pacing their carbon transition,” Moody’s said in the May 15 report, “Prudent self-regulation is key to managing carbon transition risks.”

The report notes that public power and G&T cooperative utilities account for only about 28% of electricity sales in the US, “but face the same growing imperative to reduce emissions as the dominant investor-owned utility (IOU) sector, driven by a combination of state and local level policies as well as customer preferences.”