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Jon Wellinghoff Play Image
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 28, 2016

Video: Choices Within Monopoly – A Grid of the Future Conversation with Jon Wellinghoff

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-choices-within-monopoly-a-grid-of-the-future-conversation-with-jon-wellinghoff/

In November 2015, Jon Wellinghoff, former chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, spoke to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission about the grid of the future. In particular, he addressed the issue of giving customers meaningful choices within a monopoly grid model, present in Minnesota and 34 other states. In the following video, he outlines… Continue reading

stacy Mitchell TED
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Jul 22, 2016

Podcast: Stacy Mitchell on How Big-Box Retailers Undercut the American Middle Class

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/podcast-stacy-mitchell-on-how-big-box-retailers-undercut-the-american-middle-class/

Listen to ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell in a recent episode of the Strong Towns podcast, where she speaks about the origins of the big-box store, how the stores win public subsidies at the expense of communities, and the way they continue to undercut the American middle class. Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jul 21, 2016

What if…Your Electric Utility Was a Benefit Corporation?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/what-if-your-electric-utility-was-a-benefit-corporation/

The misunderstandings that from time to time occur between communities and the managers of electric-lighting companies will, to my mind, disappear entirely if the relations between the two are correctly founded on the basis of public control, with corresponding protection to the corporations operating this industry. More than 100 years ago, standing in front of… Continue reading

PPP-Report-2016 cover image 600px
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2016

The Secrets Behind Partnerships to Improve Internet Access

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ppp-fiber/

A growing number of US cities have broken up monopoly control of the Internet marketplace locally. They’re promoting entrepreneurship, and giving residents and businesses real choice in how they connect and reach new audiences. They’ve brought a new wrinkle to an old model: the public-private partnership. “Communities desperately need better Internet access, but not all local… Continue reading

Distributed Generation Under Fire Q1 2016
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2016

Distributed Generation Under Fire (Q1 2016)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/distributed-generation-under-fire-q1-2016/

It all comes down to the money. Discord over compensation for solar customers and utilities alike bled into the first part of the year, extending a long-running debate over the best ways to integrate solar power and — thanks to a few hard-line policy moves — threatening to hold back growth in the solar marketplace…. Continue reading

Ep. 36 - Green Mountain Power
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jul 7, 2016

Mountains Beyond Mountains: How Green Mountain Power Became More Than An Electric Utility – Episode 38 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mountains-beyond-mountains-how-green-mountain-power-became-more-than-an-electric-utility-episode-38-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

“We just need to become the Ben and Jerry’s of the utility world!” So said Mary Powell (pictured left), CEO and president of Green Mountain Power, as she announced in 2014 that her electric utility had just earned B Corp certification, making it one of more than 1,700 companies in the world committed to rigorous… Continue reading

Barry Goldwater Jr.
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 4, 2016

Competition and Freedom at Stake – Episode 37 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/competition-and-freedom-at-stake-episode-37-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Incentives designed to make rooftop solar feasible for a wider range of consumers are under attack nationwide, threatening new solar development as well as the consumers that already have rooftop panels. The staunchest opponents? Utilities who say, despite a growing body of research to the contrary, that rooftop solar hurts other ratepayers and their bottom… Continue reading

Rick Gilliam Podcast Interview
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jun 30, 2016

Utilities Strip Consumers’ Control Over Energy Bills – Episode 36 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/utilities-strip-consumers-control-over-energy-bills-episode-36-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

A surge of interest in residential solar arrays threatens traditional utilities’ outdated business model of selling more and more electricity, prompting them to adopt a controversial fee that hurts efficiency and diminishes long-range cost savings — even for themselves. Mandatory fixed fees on utility bills force consumers to pay up no matter how much, or… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 23, 2016

Local Utilities Have Lost Local Control

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-utilities-have-lost-local-control/

This post made possible by the tireless efforts of ILSR intern Abbigail Feola. She dug up the data, identified the story worth sharing, and wrote the following piece below. Historically, the purpose of both municipal and cooperative utility agencies has been to bring energy services to communities that for-profit corporations thought unprofitable to serve. This… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 20, 2016

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update (2016 Q1)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-distributed-solar-capacity-quarterly-update-2016-q1/

Solar made up over a half of the added power plant capacity during the first quarter of 2016. With over 800 MW (AC) coming from distributed solar, this year is shaping up to be another banner year for renewable energy. See previous updates: 2015 Q4, 2015 Q3, 2015 Q2, 2015 Q1, 2014 Q4, 2014 Q3, 2014 Q2 Distributed… Continue reading

compost corner
Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Jun 17, 2016

Compost Combats Desertification: Download New Poster

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/desertification-and-compost/

June 17th is World Day to Combat Desertification. In 1994, the United Nations declared June 17th the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to promote public awareness of the issue. While the UN focuses on those countries experiencing serious drought or desertification, particularly in Africa, the United States is not immune. “The dust storms… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2016

Ammon’s Model: The Virtual End of Cable Monopolies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-ammons-model/

  The city of Ammon, Idaho, is building the Internet network of the future. Households and businesses can instantly change Internet service providers using a specially-designed innovative portal. This short 20 minute video highlights how the network is saving money, creating competition for broadband services, and creating powerful new public safety applications. We talk with… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 14, 2016

Presentation: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/presentation-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

In March of 2016, we published a report on the state of rural electric cooperatives in the current electricity market: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative. Below you will find our newly developed presentation based on this report. Forward and share widely. Re-Member-ing Rural Electric Cooperatives Report Presentation from John Farrell Executive Summary Electric cooperatives face diverse… Continue reading

To Lease or To Own
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2016

To Lease or To Own Your Solar Array (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/to-lease-or-to-own-your-solar-array-infographic/

Is owning your solar array your best option, or is leasing right for you? Along with our existing Solar Calculators (both complex and simplified), we have this new infographic. This graphic details the two different ownership structures based around a number of important categories. Please note that solar panels typically carry a 20-year warranty, but most panels… Continue reading

ilsrs community networks video logo FINAL
Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Jun 8, 2016

Blue Ribbon Panel: The Public and Private Sectors Working Together

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/blue-ribbon-panel-the-public-and-private-sectors-working-together/

Like electricity in the last century, advanced communications services and capabilities can become the drivers and enablers of simultaneous progress in economic development, education, government services, digital equity, and just about everything else that matters most to our communities. This Blue Ribbon Panel explores the challenges of establishing effective partnerships to bring better connectivity to… Continue reading