Back to top Jump to featured resources

Viewing the energy efficiency tag archive

tractor and wind turbines - flickr  Alexander Boden
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jul 25, 2014

A $6 Billion Opportunity for the Rural Energy Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/6-billion-opportunity-rural-energy-economy/

One of the biggest barriers to making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy is the upfront cost. So what if members of rural electric cooperative and rural municipal electric utilities could borrow money for small-scale improvements on the same terms as the utilities for their large-scale power plants? Starting in 2014, they can. The… Continue reading

big boot stomping small person - flickr kennysarmy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 15, 2014

California’s Reserve Fund Won’t Lift the FHFA Boot From PACE’s Neck

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/californias-pace-program-solve-fanniefreddie-problem/

Earlier this year, the state of California announced a $10 million loan-loss reserve to solve the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s severe restrictions on using property-tax based financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy on residential property. It’s a great concept, but evidence from on of California’s best property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs suggests the reserve… Continue reading

fox in henhouse - Phil Catterall (wikipedia) and Nemo (Pixabay)
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Jun 24, 2014

Ejecting the Power Line Foxes from the Electric Customer Henhouse

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ejecting-power-line-foxes-electric-customer-henhouse/

The neighbors of the proposed Badger-Coulee high-voltage line in Wisconsin are like those in many other parts of the country, upset that their utility will construct 200-foot steel towers across their region and through their property (they have some other cogent arguments, too). They should be more than upset. In fact, all advocates of a… Continue reading

Solar panels and skyline
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on May 5, 2014

A Little Tapped City Strategy for Boosting Local Renewable Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/tapped-city-strategy-boosting-local-renewable-energy/

Many cities served by private utilities think they have little capacity to encourage local renewable energy development.  But a largely untapped tool – utility franchise contracts – may hold the key. There are two kinds of city energy systems: publicly owned or privately owned. Cities with municipal utilities already have the power to implement the… Continue reading

northfield climate summit 2014-01 web
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 27, 2014

Local Climate Solutions

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

What can an individual city or town do to fight climate change? A lot! View these slides from a presentation by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell to the Northfield Climate Summit on January 18, 2014, to see what one small Minnesota town has done, what other steps it can take as part of… 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

CUB Retail Electricity Suppliers Report Card
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 28, 2013

Three Unequal Options for Local Energy Control

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/unequal-options-local-energy-control/

If we ignore self-generation, three policies are at the center of increasing local control of energy: deregulation (“customer choice”), municipal aggregation (“city choice”), and municipal utilities (“city ownership”).  Two recent articles highlight the relative value of these policies quite clearly. The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois, a nonprofit ratepayer advocacy organization, just released a… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 18, 2012

More Clean Energy for Minneapolis

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

Click here for a more detailed article. ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell presents to a big crowd at “Green Ideas and Ham,” a breakfast policy forum in Minneapolis, about the opportunity for the city to dramatically increase its control over its energy future.  In a short time, the city’s monopoly energy contracts with its electric… Continue reading

4517691169_b02a20dd5f
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Aug 23, 2012

California County’s PACE Program Could Get Feisty with FHFA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/california-countys-pace-program-feisty-fhfa/

Does a Riverside County, CA, residential energy financing program put thousands of homeowners on a collision course with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)? In a proposed rule-making, the FHFA has suggested that Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) policies represent a threat to the safety and soundness of mortgages held by government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2012

FHFA Finally Releases PACE Ruling: Did They Repent?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/fhfa-finally-releases-pace-ruling-repent/

After effectively suspending residential PACE energy efficiency and renewable energy municipal financing programs in 2010 and then being taken to federal court and required to do a revised rule making, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its revised ruling on PACE programs [pdf] today. Did they repent from their 2010 assertion that PACE presented… Continue reading