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
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Xcel Energy has published their proposed community solar program on Sept. 30, 2013 and ILSR submitted comments on the unlawfully capped and fee-crazy program last week. Comments below Public Comments on Community Solar (Docket E-002/M-13-867) Program Design Requirements Does Xcel’s proposed plan for operating a community solar garden (CSG) meet all the program design requirements,… Continue reading
The Town of Markham, Ontario, Canada, has one of the most progressive and successful organic waste reduction programs in North America. Markham has taken a comprehensive environmental approach, by implementing policies that reduce organic waste across the public, private, and residential sectors. Continue reading
Xcel Energy contends that there is “simply no advantage to forming a utility in the way that Boulder is attempting.” This unsupported statement gives me pause and compels me to set the record straight. The public power option is not new. Local communities have long had the right to own and operate their own electric… Continue reading
Another great video from Australia makes many salient points regarding the debate over their national broadband network. One key point to take away is that it is possible to talk to non-technical normal people about this subject without overwhelming them or boring them. Another is that FTTN = fiber to the nowhere, not fiber to… Continue reading
Minneapolis, MN (October 7, 2013) – The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes how dozens of cities are boosting their local economies while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases. City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy… 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
A vividly visual summary of our newest report, City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy, this presentation covers eight powerful policies and practices that cities have employed to reduce energy use, save money, and create local jobs, all without waiting for someone else to act. It provides short case studies… Continue reading
This panel asks ‘who’s your energy daddy?’ and for now it remains large, investor-owned utilities, and ostensibly locally-focused rural cooperatives and municipal utilities. But the energy landscape of today gives me uncomfortable reminders of the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles - the Oedipus tale. John Farrell, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, gave this panel presentation at the 23rd… Continue reading
Five months ago, one of the country’s ten largest electric utilities told regulators in Minnesota that it needed three new natural gas power plants to handle peak energy demand. This week, the same company’s Colorado division announced plans to use more solar power because it is cost competitive with gas. Maybe they need a memo… Continue reading