(Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles in the months to come on candidates for statewide office.)

Patty Durand

Patty Durand, Democratic challenger to Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, is a longtime consumer advocate in the energy industry who owns a consulting business that focuses on consumer engagement and education in energy and technology. She previously served as president and CEO of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, helping it double in size and expand energy stakeholder knowledge about consumers through many pieces of foundational research.  Durand sat down with InsiderAdvantage this week to discuss the issues that compelled her to run for the PSC and what she has planned if elected.

Question: What were the factors or motivations that led you to announce your campaign for Public Service Commissioner?

Answer: I decided to run for a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission as I approached my 10 year anniversary with my position as President & CEO of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. Georgia has not been a leader on energy on any level, and is one of only 11 states with no clean energy goals or mandates. In addition, Georgia recently moved from 5th to 4th place for highest energy bills in the nation. Georgia remains in the bottom five of state rankings for energy efficiency spending and has no meaningful bill pay assistance for people experiencing energy poverty. I have been frustrated for several years watching the Georgia Commission make decisions in the interest of utility profits that harm Georgia’s people and that do nothing to address climate change, while watching other state commissions make meaningful progress in these areas. 

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