The Board of Water & Light is a municipally owned public utility, not a private, investor-owned utility. Our roots go back to 1885, when Lansing citizens approved a $100,000 bond issue to build a water system to provide for drinking water and fire protection. Electricity was added to our list of utility services in 1892, and steam heat in 1919. We sell no stock, pay no dividends, and make no profit.
Unlike investor-owned utilities, our rates are not set or regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. They are established by our governing body, our Board of Commissioners. The BWL Board of Commissioners is made up of eight Lansing residents, each appointed for a four-year term on the board by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. Commissioners serve without pay.
Meetings of the Board of Commissioners are open to the public and are held every other month, usually on the fourth Tuesday. The meetings are held at 5:30 p.m. at the Board of Water and Light Headquarters, REO Town Depot, located at 1201 S. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI, 48910.
Owned and operated by hometown people, the BWL has grown to become the third largest electric utility in the state, the largest municipally owned utility in Michigan and a major employer in the Lansing area. By owning the BWL, our customers enjoy electric rates that are the lowest in the state, averaging 20 percent or more below the average rates of other utilities in Michigan.
This is the real return on investment our owners receive a financially healthy utility with low rates and high reliability.