A series of big power outages in the middle of a pandemic has Connecticut residents mad at electric utilities again. They’re asking lawmakers to get them refunds and to hold Eversource and United Illuminating responsible for not getting the lights on quickly enough.

But Jan Ellen Spiegel, who covers energy and the environment for The CT Mirror, says our focus on pointing fingers, and anger over electric rates has taken our eyes off the real problem – an ancient electric grid that’s not only set up for major failures, but is also keeping us from becoming more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels.

This week on “Steady Habits,” she tells John that when it comes to keeping the lights on – you either have to pay now, or pay later.

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John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.