How can a community take control of its energy future from a 100-year monopoly electric utility? Citizens of Boulder, CO, are testing answers to that question, trying to discover how a single city can do more for its economy and the environment with more power over its energy system. At the core of their efforts… Continue reading
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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
Laboring to keep more of its energy dollars at home, community members in Boulder, CO, decided that they needed some numbers behind their vision of a cleaner energy utility. Listen in to the podcast to hear Ken Regelson describe how the remarkable results of Boulder’s citizen-driven energy model have given them power to stand up… Continue reading
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
“It’s the most inspirational work that I’m doing…this is an inspirational and aspirational effort…at the heart of it is love of place and energy democracy.” Citizens of Santa Fe, NM, are exploring the economic and environmental benefits of more local and locally-controlled energy production. Is their city ready to take the lead? Find out in… Continue reading
“We can avoid that $100 million investment in transmission lines, distribution lines, in capital infrastructure…” How can a utility like Long Island Power Authority avoid all that new capital expenditure? Find out in this interview with Vice President of Environmental Affairs Michael Deering, recorded via Skype on November 25, 2013. Customer-Powered Utility The first question… Continue reading
“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
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
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