Jonathan Foley with the Associated Press:
An Associated Press analysis of utility spending and reliability nationwide found that electric customers are spending 43 percent more than they did in 2002 to build and maintain local electric infrastructure. Since then, power outages have remained infrequent; but when the lights do go out, it now takes longer to get them back on.
Neither the spending nor the reliability trends are dramatic on their own. But experts say the combination is revealing: it suggests that the extra money from electric customers isn’t being spent wisely - or that utilities aren’t investing nearly enough to upgrade fragile equipment that is increasingly threatened by major storms.