Falling demand for electricity has utilities burning the midnight oil



Public and investor-owned utilities alike are facing a dilemma: Americans are using less energy. Increasing efficiency and the shift to a service-oriented economy have combined to reduce electricity consumption on a per capita basis for several years running.

It’s a trend that’s weighing on utility companies, and their bottom lines.

Eight U.S. utilities had debt in excess of $2 billion, according to recent financial statements, led by The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) $20.3 billion. So far this year, the credit ratings of four utilities with significant debt were downgraded to a negative outlook by the major rating agencies.

As a result, publicly owned and publicly traded utilities alike are looking for new sources of revenue.

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Privatizing Libraries


Expanding our thinking about the notion of
corporate-run community libraries

Futurist Thomas Frey:  Consider the following scenario. Two years from now in November, you find yourself walking into a voting booth to decide on the fate of your local library. The issue you will be deciding affects you directly because it has to do with the management of your local library. You will be voting on one of four choices for the operational management of your library. The choices you have to pick from include Microsoft, Google, Apple, or your current city-run operation.


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Private Company Taking Over Public Libraries Angers Employees and Patrons


Library Systems & Services pitches to cities that it fixes broken libraries — often by cleaning house.

A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.  Now the company, Library Systems & Services, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.


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