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Rule filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2014

Access to Capital for Local Businesses

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

A significant share of locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow.  Our 2014 Independent Business Survey found that 42 percent of local businesses that needed a loan in the previous two years had been unable to obtain one.  Another survey by the National Small Business Association likewise found that 43… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 4 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/enormous-question-solar-choice/

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for compensating… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 9 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Minnesota’s Value of Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesotas-value-of-solar/

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy. It may fundamentally change the financial relationship between electric utilities and their energy-producing customers. It may also serve as a precedent for setting a transparent, market-based price for solar energy. This report explains the origins of value of solar, the… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 1, 2014

FCC Rural Broadband Workshop Video

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/fcc-rural-broadband-workshop-video

In case you missed it, you can still stream the FCC’s Rural Broadband Workshop. The announcement describes the event: The workshop will include an examination of the broadband needs of rural populations and the unique challenges of both broadband deployment and adoption in rural areas.  In addition, the discussion will highlight the economic, educational, and healthcare… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Distributed Renewable Energy Under Fire

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

I developed this map as a side project while I was working on explaining the value of solar and its potential role in addressing conflicts between utilities and customers over distributed renewable energy like solar. I’ve received several updates since it was originally published, so here’s the updated map. For some context on the contention… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Mar 13, 2014

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesotas-value-solar-winner/

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their electric utility. Following Minnesota’s Value of Solar Process? Here are a few resources: Part 1… Continue reading

Rule filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Oct 29, 2013

NYSDOT – Compost Procurement

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/compost-procurement/nysdot/

By requiring the use of compost in construction and landscape projects, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is becoming a model for public agencies seeking to improve their environmental stewardship. Governmental agencies throughout the United States can look toward NYSDOT to see how the public sector is adapting its procurement policies to take… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 26, 2013

Relative Energy Efficiency of Residential Building Energy Codes [Chart]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/relative-energy-efficiency-residential-building-energy-codes-chart/

Update 9/3/13: Environmental groups and home builders associations may have just reached an historic agreement on building codes, focusing on improving efficiency through a performance based measure (the Home Energy Rating System) instead of the prescriptive IECC codes. The upshot is a 20% improvement over the 2012 IECC code within two years by allowing builders… Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2013

Internet Sales Tax Fairness – Minnesota

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/rule/internet-sales-tax-fairness/internet-sales-tax-fairness-minnesota/

In May 2013, the Minnesota state legislature passed, as part of an omnibus tax bill, legislation that will require out-of-state sellers to collect state sales taxes if they 1) use in-state sales affiliates and 2) make more than 100 sales to Minnesota residents or generate more than $100,000 in sales to Minnesota residents. The law will take effect on July 1, 2013. Continue reading

Credit: CERTs
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 28, 2013

Minnesota’s New (Standard Offer) Solar Energy Standard

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

A friend at Fresh Energy generously called me the “architect” of Minnesota’s new solar energy standard (signed last week), and although that may be a bit generous, I’d like to provide a detailed description of the nation’s newest solar energy standard. The topline: 1.5% solar standard for the state’s investor-owned utilities (with some exemptions) for… Continue reading