A handful of municipalities across the nation are mulling the possibility of putting their utility services back into public hands as they look to the smart grid and renewable energy as well as aim to address climate-change concerns. Boulder, Colo., could vote as early as next month to create a municipal utility, and officials in Minneapolis and Santa Fe, N.M., are weighing their options as well. Investor-owned utilities have responded to the trend by insisting they are best equipped to deliver services. "This is our business. It's what we do," said David Eves of the Public Service Company of Colorado, a division of Xcel Energy.

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