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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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
There’s an increasingly shrill discussion among utilities (and from their own Edison Electric Institute) about the threat to their business from distributed energy, as their customers shift to getting their own power from local renewable resources. Reports and news stories – e.g. “Adapt or Die” – suggest changes to the business model are imminent as… Continue reading
In 2011, citizens of Boulder, CO, opted to oust their monopoly, corporate electric utility for a locally owned, cleaner, more affordable model despite being outspent 10-to-1. They’ve since shown that a locally owned utility could deliver 54% renewable energy, lower greenhouse gas emissions by half, and all at a cost as good or better than… Continue reading
A lot of folks came to a hearing at Minneapolis City Hall eight days ago to oppose a ballot measure authorizing the city to form a municipal utility. Mostly they argued that the status quo is sufficient. I’d like to ask if they understand the question. This commentary was originally published by the Star Tribune… Continue reading
This presentation by Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell shows the politics, process, and policy that led to Minnesota becoming the 17th state with a solar or distributed renewable energy standard in 2013. Delivered to a webinar audience of Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress (OREP) on July 16, 2013, it explains the new solar standard,… Continue reading
From outdated technical rules to local permitting to incentive policies, there are opportunities to increase the potential for local solar. This is the fourth of five parts of our Rooftop Revolution report being published in serial. Read Part 1 or Part 2 or Part 3. Download the entire report and see our other resources here…. Continue reading
When President Obama unveils his climate policy proposal in the coming days, he should focus on the one key element of successful climate and energy policy. It’s not about utilities or incentives or numbers, it’s about ownership. Climate-protecting energy policy succeeds when communities can keep their energy dollars local by directly owning and profiting from… Continue reading
When I wrote two weeks ago that Master Limited Partnerships are a Lousy Policy for Solar, Wind, and Taxpayers, I was aware that it wasn’t a widely held view. The piece has done more than provide another viewpoint on the complicated corporate structure, it has ignited a significant debate across the renewable energy community about… Continue reading
“A lot of the utilities don’t totally understand this new paradigm that’s coming.” David Blittersdorf of AllEarth Renewables has been working to advance renewable energy in Vermont for years, and was instrumental in getting the state’s standard offer program (a feed-in tariff) passed in 2009. He’s adamant that the state should accelerate its standard offer… Continue reading