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compostingresilience
Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Dec 6, 2013

Composting and Community Resilience – Presentation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/composting-community-resilience-presentation/

Composting and Community Resilience, is a presentation by Brenda Platt, Co-Director, Institute for Local Self Reliance.  Brenda spoke on November 20, 2013, at a speaker series organized by the Prince George’s County Planning Department. Based on the findings of two recent ILSR reports from the Composting Makes $en$e Project, the presentation features new research on… Continue reading

farmers electric cooperative IA
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2013

The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa? – Episode 12 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/1-solar-utility-in-iowa-episode-12-local-energy-rules/

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer… Continue reading

cedar-falls-shows-long-term-muni-network-success-community-broadband-bits-episode-75
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Dec 3, 2013

Cedar Falls Shows Long Term Muni Network Success: Community Broadband Bits Episode #75

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/cedar-falls-shows-long-term-muni-network-success-community-broadband-bits-episode-75/

Cedar Falls Utilities operates one of the oldest community owned networks in the nation. It started as a cable network in the 90’s, upgraded to FTTH recently, and this year began offering the first citywide gigabit service in Iowa. CFU Communication Sales Manager Kent Halder and Network Services Manager Rob Houlihan join me for Community… Continue reading

billy-ray-on-the-origins-of-the-first-muni-broadband-network-community-broadband-bits-episode-74
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 26, 2013

Billy Ray on the Origins of the First Muni Broadband Network: Community Broadband Bits Episode #74

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/billy-ray-on-the-origins-of-the-first-muni-broadband-network-community-broadband-bits-episode-74/

Last month, we unveiled a video teaser of our interviews in Glasgow, Kentucky over the summer regarding its municipal broadband network. This week our podcast features a few clips from those interviews with Billy Ray, the Superintendent of Glasgow’s Electric Plant Board. He offers more context on the history of their network, including how they… Continue reading

stone arch and power line
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2013

A Once-in-a-Generation Chance to Achieve a City’s Energy Goals – Episode 11 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/once-in-a-generation-achieve-citys-energy-goals-episode-11-local-energy-rules/

“We have this once-in-a-generation negotiation coming up next year and it’s a chance for Minneapolis to explore what its energy choices might be and how it could achieve its energy goals.” Earlier this week, the Minneapolis city council got an early look at an important “pathways study,” outlining the legal and policy strategies the city… Continue reading

postcard-to-welcome-fcc-chair-tom-wheeler
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 20, 2013

Postcard to Incoming FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/postcard-for-fcc-tom-wheele/

  As new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler begins serving the public, we want to welcome him with open arms and some good advice. ILSR teamed up with the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net) to create a personalized postcard with ILSR’s Christopher Mitchell. We hope he will print it out, frame it, and place it prominently on his… Continue reading

Photo: Walmart truck
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2013

New Report Reveals Walmart’s Climate Impact

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/walmart-climate/

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

Luther College solar
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2013

Campus Power: Tapping Local Energy Toward a Sustainable Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/campus-power-tapping-local-energy-sustainable-future/

I gave a presentation at the 5th Annual Conference of the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability on Nov. 8, 2013, talking about the challenges to sustainability and the opportunity presented by a transformation to distributed renewable energy in the utility sector. My remarks follow.  Scroll to the bottom to flip through the slide presentation…. Continue reading

toxic-free-talk-radio
Featured Article, Resource filed under Sustainable Plastics, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2013

Brenda Platt Talks Bioplastics on Toxic Free Radio

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/brenda-platt-talks-bioplastics-toxic-free-radio/

On November 6, 2013, Debra Lynn Dadd’s Toxic Free Talk Radio Show had ILSR’s Brenda Platt as a guest representing the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative and talking about bioplastics. Brenda is Director of the Sustainable Plastics Initiative, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative (www.sustainablebiomaterials.org), and co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, based in Washington, DC…. Continue reading

xcel bullshit value of solar 2.003
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 25, 2013

Big Utility’s Two-Faced Talk on Low-Carbon Energy [infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/big-utility-two-faced-on-low-carbon-energy/

What happens when a monopoly utility sees a threat to their business model? A lot of two-faced talking to regulators about the best carbon-free energy sources. Read here for more background.     Like what you see?  Get a weekly email on Democratic Energy, or follow us on Twitter: Continue reading

ComcastOuthouse
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by David Milavetz | No Comments | Updated on Oct 25, 2013

Comic: Longmont to Decide on Fiber Bonds by Referendum November 5th

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/comic-longmont-decide-fiber-bonds-referendum-november-5th/

On November 5th, citizens of Longmont will vote on a referendum determining whether to expedite building a Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network by issuing revenue bonds, a process that would speed up the build by several decades.  The network is being built by Longmont Power and Communications, a city-owned utility north of Denver, Colorado…. Continue reading

two-faced xcel
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 24, 2013

Monopoly Utility (n): see “two-faced”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/monopoly-utility-two-faced/

Two weeks ago, I listened – incredulously – to Minnesota’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, suggest that solar energy offers its ratepayers no value as an environmental hedge against carbon emissions or as a price hedge against natural gas fuel price fluctuations. But just three days later, Xcel was singing a different tune [docket pdf] to… Continue reading

baseload must go video screengrab
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 16, 2013

Why Coal and Nuclear (Baseload) Are Not Compatible with a Renewable Future

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/coal-nuclear-baseload-compatible-renewable-future/

A terrific video explains why utility investments in “baseload” coal and nuclear power plants are acting against increasing renewable energy.  Credit to EnergyShouldBe, a website created by one of the technical analysts helping Boulder, CO, pursue a more local, renewable energy system. My one caveat is that flexibility of a utility system varies by utility. … Continue reading

Winter solar panels Minnesota
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2013

Debating the Value of Solar – Pt. 2 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/debating-solar-pt-2-minnesotas-process/

It was an unseasonably sunny day for part two of Minnesota’s value of solar stakeholder process: participation day. The leadoff was the Department of Commerce’s proposed approach to a value of solar methodology.  Shown below, it set some broad principles the Department intends to use in the value of solar formula it develops:    … Continue reading

City Power Play - cover
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Oct 7, 2013

City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/city-power-play/

placeholderThe economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But dozens of cities are creating jobs and cleaner energy using their own power.

Download the report

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