Santa Monica has built a fiber network called City Net that has lowered its own costs for telecommunications, helped to retain businesses, and attracted new businesses to the community. Built incrementally without debt, it offers a roadmap any community can draw lessons from. Unlike the majority of municipal fiber networks, Santa Monica does not have… Continue reading
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A survey of 2,602 independent business owners across the U.S. has found that the Buy Local message is boosting customer traffic and improving the outlook on Main Street. But entrepreneurs also say policymakers need to do more to create a level playing field and ensure that small local businesses have an equal opportunity to compete. Continue reading
Today, ILSR issued a report on Walmart’s rapidly expanding climate pollution and joined with leading environmental organizations in calling for change. The new report, Walmart’s Assault on the Climate: The Truth Behind One of the Biggest Climate Polluters and Slickest Greenwashers in America, finds: Nearly a decade after launching its sustainability campaign, Walmart’s greenhouse gas… Continue reading
Keeping Energy Dollars Local
- Chattanooga, TN, is adding over $1 billion to its local economy in the next decade by implementing one of the most advanced smart grids and delivering the fastest internet service in the country with its municipal utility.
- Sonoma County, CA, has created nearly 800 local jobs retrofitting over 2,000 properties for energy savings with city-based financing.
- Babylon, NY, has re-purposed a solid waste fund to finance retrofits for 2% of the city’s homes, saving residents an average of $1,300 a year on their energy bills at minimal cost to the city.
Eight Powerful, Practical Policies
This report details eight practical energy policies cities can and have used to their economic advantage: Continue reading
Launched in 2009, Ontario’s “buy local” Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program promised to deliver hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy and create 50,000 new jobs by the end of 2012. The program has had some notable achievements, and the province has worked hard to remedy some of the remaining roadblocks to success. The bottom line… Continue reading
Two new reports from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Composting Makes $en$e Project document the importance of expanded composting and compost use to enhance soils, protect watersheds, reduce waste, and create green jobs and a new made-in-America industrial sector. For press release, click here. With compostable material making up almost one-half of municipal solid waste, there… Continue reading
Recycling is an economic development tool as well as an environmental tool. Reuse, recycling, and waste reduction offer direct development opportunities for communities. When collected with skill and care, and upgraded with quality in mind, discarded materials are a local resource that can contribute to local revenue, job creation, business expansion, and the local economic base. Continue reading
ILSR’s annual survey has found that independent businesses experienced solid revenue growth in 2012, buoyed in part by “buy local first” initiatives. But the survey also documented challenges facing independent businesses, most notably an increase in “showrooming” and competition from online retailers, tax and subsidy policies that favor their big competitors, difficulty obtaining loans, and a customer base still reeling from the recession. Continue reading
After a city in North Carolina built a Fiber-to-the-Home network competing with Time Warner Cable, the cable giant successfully lobbied to take that decision away from other cities. The city of Wilson’s decision and resulting network was recently examined in a case study by Todd O’Boyle and Christopher Mitchell titled Carolina’s Connected Community: Wilson Gives… Continue reading
By 2022, over 38 million homes and businesses could get solar power from their own rooftop, pay less for electricity, without any subsidies for solar. These two reports, published in 2012, outline the growth potential for local solar power and the coming rooftop revolution. Click to see more of our Rooftop Revolution resources. Continue reading
At the start of 2012, the United States had over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) connected to the grid, with the pace of new installations accelerating as the price continues to fall. There has never been a better opportunity for Americans to generate their own electricity on-site nor such a challenge to the… Continue reading
Following the collapse of key industries, a town of 50,000 in eastern North Carolina had to make a hard choice. It wanted to support existing businesses and attract new ones but the cable and telephone companies were not interested in upgrading their networks for cutting edge capacity. So Wilson decided to build its own fiber… Continue reading
Although only 0.1% of electricity is generated by solar power in 2012; within a decade, 300,000 MW of unsubsidized solar power will be at parity with retail electricity prices in most of the United States and more than 35 million buildings may be generating their own solar electricity sufficient to power almost 10% of the country. Continue reading
Chanute first built a vision, then a network. The fiber network connects schools and other community anchor institutions with gigabit networks. The wireless network serves public safety. Soon, both may serve everyone. The “Hub of southeast Kansas” is a small town where schools have gigabit connections, the City operates a 10Gbps fiber-optic broadband ring, and… Continue reading
This November voters in four states–Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington–will be voting on whether to legalize or ban same-sex marriage. After 20 years of debate one might reasonably ask why another report on same-sex marriage would be necessary. Our reply is that although the debate has been long it has often generated more heat than light. We learn best… Continue reading