The final referendum results in May 2018 were stunningly close, with local organizers coming within three votes of advancing an effort for a municipal electric utility in the small town of Decorah, Iowa. The incumbent monopoly utility outspent local activists by a 4-to-1 margin, overwhelming local organizing despite a study that suggested electric customers could save 30% by switching to a locally owned utility.… Read More
The Fort Collins’ ballot measure that could amend the City Charter allowing high-speed Internet to become a municipal utility moves forward after a short legal scuffle. The question will be decided at the November 7th special election. Failed Legal Petition … Read More
Sprouting from southeastern Minnesota farm country, the city of Rochester is an unassuming mini-metropolis best known for its world-famous Mayo Clinic. But the city is also home to the state’s largest municipal utility and an ambitious plan to ramp up renewable generation. In this 2017 episode of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell speaks with Rochester City Council-member Michael Wojcik.… Read More
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will buy excess solar-powered electricity produced by their customers at the retail rate. In 1993, the SMUD PV Pioneer program established a partnership with customers willing to assist in the early adoption of photovoltaic(PV) technology.… Read More
In mid-May, Los Angeles’ Mayor announced a new climate change action plan that calls for the LA municipal utility to increase its renewable energy portfolio to reach 35 percent by 2020. This in combination with about 50 other proposed actions will work to reduce GHG emissions in the city of angels to 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
The Board of Water and Power Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) wants the municipal utility to meet their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) seven years earlier than a previous goal required. LADWP will start meeting directly with neighborhood councils, homeowners, businesses and other stakeholders to discuss the plan.
In late November, the Waverly Light and Power (WLP) Board of Trustees unanimously voted to set a 20 percent renewable energy standard for the municipally-owned utility’s generation portfolio. Currently, the utility has 3.1 percent renewable generation and the new goal would raise that to 20 percent by 2020.
Baintree Electric Light Department (BELD) is partnering with Climate Energy to install and test out a 1 kW Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) systems. The units consists of a natural gas-powered Honda generator tied to a high-efficiency furnace.
In an effort to clarify and strengthen state law, lawmakers in Massachusetts have introduced legislation to enhance the ability of communities to acquire electric distribution equipment from investor-owned utilities in order to form municipally-owned electric companies.