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electric company monopoly - Mike Fleming via Flickr
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2015

Why Utilities Are Hating on Their Solar-Producing Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-utilities-are-hating-on-their-solar-producing-customers/

I have the privilege of talking to a lot of reporters about rooftop solar energy, and particularly about why utilities seem hell bent on stopping their customers from using their own money to add clean, renewable energy to the electric grid. If this seems confusing to you, too, here’s a quick primer with some key… Continue reading

computer-screen 5 pillars
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

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

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain relevant in this technological firestorm, and energy wonks are envisioning a new business model––Utility 2.0––that… Continue reading

titanic iceberg - flickr Jimmy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Are We Sunk? The Electric Utility’s Titanic Problem

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

In my recent report on the utility business model of the future, I laid out 5 pillars of a democratic energy system. It’s hard not to notice the contrast between this vision of the future and the 15-year business plan laid out by Xcel Energy in Minnesota, the incumbent monopoly serving about half the state’s… Continue reading

network-neutrality-warnings-from-radio-regulation
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 11, 2015

Network Neutrality – Warnings From Radio Regulation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/network-neutrality-warnings-from-radio-regulation/

Many of us in the public interest telecommunications sphere are excited that the FCC appears poised to reclassify Internet access, which seems a necessary first step of protecting the open Internet. Though we often focus on the false claims of the self-interested cable and telephone lobbyists when criticizing those who oppose FCC action on this,… Continue reading

sunrise on solar - flickr Jonathan Potts
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2014

A $48 Billion Opportunity for U.S. Electric Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/u-s-utility-customers-save-48-billion-solar-efficiency/

Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency. But where does that money go? If we pursue a democratic energy system as outlined in ILSR’s new… Continue reading

Credit: Matthew Paulson
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 17, 2014

The History and Hope for a First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/history-hope-first-in-the-nation-city-utility-clean-energy-partnership/

In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and what can it accomplish? The following 8-minute video from one of the “lead rabble… Continue reading

courtroom - flickr  Clyde Robinson
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2014

Can PUCs Lead on Distributed Renewable Energy?

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

If you’re like most renewable energy advocates that have interacted with a Public Utilities Commission, you probably don’t think they’re a repository of progressive policy toward distributed renewable energy.  In general, you’re right. But it’s worth sharing a few, promising examples of Public Utilities Commissions around the U.S. that are actually making things better for… Continue reading

understanding-title-ii-and-network-neutrality-community-broadband-bits-podcast-101
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2014

Understanding Title II and Network Neutrality – Community Broadband Bits Podcast #101

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/understanding-title-ii-and-network-neutrality-community-broadband-bits-podcast-101/

With all of the recent media discussions around network neutrality, reclassification, and “Title II,” we decided to spend this week talking with Matt Wood, Policy Director for Free Press to simplify some key issues. For all the hub-bub around reclassification and dramatic claims that it represents some kind of fundamental policy shift, the truth is… Continue reading

bill-moyers-on-network-neutrality-and-threat-from-comcast
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 6, 2014

Bill Moyers on Network Neutrality and Threat from Comcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/bill-moyers-on-network-neutrality-and-threat-from-comcast/

Bill Moyers has returned to again discuss Network Neutrality with guests Susan Crawford and David Carr from the New York Times. The show is embedded below and well worth watching, especially toward the end as Bill reveals the revolving-door between the top levels of the Federal Communication Commission and industry lobbyists. During the show, they… Continue reading

michael-powell-said-what-why-everyone-should-ignore-the-cable-lobby
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2014

Michael Powell said What?? Why Everyone Should Ignore the Cable Lobby

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/michael-powell-said-what-why-everyone-should-ignore-the-cable-lobby/

Stop and think for a second. Would you regard the electricity grid and water system as an abysmal failure or success? If you are lobbying for cable companies in DC, you apparently think they are monumental failures. Michael Powell, former Chairman of the FCC must be dizzy after his trip through the revolving door on… Continue reading