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Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on May 5, 2016

Infographic: Compost Impacts More Than You Think

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

It’s International Compost Awareness Week (#ICAW) (May 1st-7th) and we are releasing an infographic every day to illustrate the many ways compost goes much deeper than dirt. Come back every day this week to learn more! On a per-ton basis, making compost alone, employs 2x more workers than landfills and 4x more than incinerators. Using compost in green infrastructure… Continue reading

Beyond Sharing Report Podcast Roundup
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 4, 2016

Community-Owned Renewable Energy Podcasts, Rebroadcasted

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/community-owned-renewable-energy-podcasts-rebroadcasted/

In conjunction with our recently released report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are re-releasing a number of podcasts which feature renewable energy projects with innovative community-owned energy structures. These pertinent podcasts prove that community-owned renewable energy projects are the way to move towards Energy Democracy.   Anya Schoolman… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Banking, Broadband, Energy, Independent Business, The Public Good, Waste to Wealth | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on May 3, 2016

Video: Break the Chains, Build Local Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/break-the-chains-build-local-power/

Since our founding in 1974, we have worked to rewrite the rules and empower communities to choose their own future. Across several vital economic sectors, we help break the corporate stranglehold that extracts wealth from local economies and undermines democracy. We give communities the tools to build a strong local economy themselves. From banking to energy, healthy… Continue reading

Winneshiek Energy District Podcast
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 28, 2016

Northeast Iowa’s Winneshiek Energy District Shows How Communities Can Capture Local Energy Dollars – Episode 35 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/northeast-iowas-winneshiek-energy-district-shows-how-communities-can-capture-local-energy-dollars-episode-35-of-local-energy-rules/

In the follow-up from our new community-owned renewable energy report, Beyond Sharing: How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are releasing the second in a series of Local Energy Rules podcasts that informed the writing of this report. Andy Johnson works with the soil. When younger, he served in Peace Corps in Central America for three… Continue reading

People Holding Hands
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

Report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power

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

Browse the Report Introduction Benefits of Community Renewable Energy U.S. Barriers to Community Renewable Energy Barrier Busting Exceptional Community Energy Projects Community as City A Community Renewable Energy Gold Standard Conclusion Appendix Footnotes The electric utility monopoly is breaking up, but will renewable energy become another form of wealth extraction or will community renewable energy… Continue reading

Compost Hands closeup
Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on Apr 26, 2016

The Benefits of Composting & Compost Use

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

Composting and compost use have numerous benefits in addition to green job creation and reducing the amount of waste destined for landfills and incinerators. At the same time we throw away tons of food scraps and yard trimmings, our soils are eroding and losing nutrients, while damaging receiving waters. Excess fertilizers from farms and suburban… Continue reading

Cooperative Energy Futures Podcast
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

Sunshine and Ownership: A Cooperative Solar Garden Blooms in North Minneapolis – Episode 34 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sunshine-and-ownership-a-cooperative-solar-garden-blooms-in-north-minneapolis-episode-34-of-local-energy-rules/

In anticipation of our new community-owned renewable energy report, Beyond Sharing: How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are releasing the first in a series of Local Energy Rules podcasts that informed the writing of this report. When people pay their electric bill to an investor-owned utility such as Minnesota’s Xcel Energy, they are… Continue reading

Photo: Lost our lease.
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

New Report: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

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

As the cost of leasing commercial space soars in many U.S. cities, a new report from ILSR examines what’s behind the skyrocketing rents and explores six broad policy strategies that elected officials and community leaders are proposing to keep commercial space appropriate, accessible, and affordable for independent businesses. Continue reading

RS Fiber Feature Image
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

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

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

rooftop solar potential usa by state ilsr change 2008-16
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 11, 2016

Sharply Higher Rooftop Solar Potential Increases Opportunity for Energy Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sharply-higher-rooftop-solar-potential-increases-potential-for-energy-self-reliance/

Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a new estimate of rooftop solar potential, an update to 2008 figures we used in our landmark state-by-state energy atlas, Energy Self-Reliant States. The bottom line: there’s much more potential to generate our electricity from solar on nearby buildings than we previously thought. The irony is… Continue reading

Minnesota Broadband image TPT Almanac at the Capitol feature image with play arrow
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 8, 2016

Local Media Covers The MN “Donut Hole” Phenomenon: Video, Editorial

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/42642-2/

As Minnesota’s Legislature decides on funding for the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, local media is calling on state leaders to prioritize local connectivity in the Capitol Chambers. This year, Governor Dayton’s office is recommending allocating $100 million to the program. Continue reading

Episode 33 - LER Podcast Feature Image
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2016

Freeing Electric Cooperatives from Fossil Fuel Serfdom? – Episode 33 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/freeing-electric-cooperatives-from-fossil-fuel-serfdom-episode-33-of-local-energy-rules/

Electric cooperatives arose from New Deal legislation that provided government-backed low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural areas that for-profit companies wouldn’t serve in the 1930s. They were engines of the rural economy. But today they face unique challenges, including a disproportionate reliance on coal-fired power, often purchased on decades-long contracts. Additionally, even though rural… Continue reading

Ep. 32 - LER Podcast Feature Image
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 6, 2016

A Kansas Electric Cooperative Offers Energy Savings with $0 Down – Episode 32 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/a-kansas-electric-cooperative-offers-energy-savings-with-0-down-episode-32-of-local-energy-rules/

It’s not sexy. But it can make you warmer. It can even make you cooler. On-bill financing provides loans for energy efficiency improvements through the local utility company, paid back with energy savings on monthly electric (or gas) bills. And it’s a powerful tool for simplifying the financing for energy savings, and for making home… Continue reading

Paulding County Courthouse
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2016

Members Reviving Atlanta Electric Co-op After CEO Takes Millions – Episode 31 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/members-reviving-atlanta-electric-co-op-after-ceo-takes-millions-episode-31-of-local-energy-rules/

Former CEO Dwight Brown (pictured right) did a number on the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). Cobb EMC serves around 175,000 member-owners just outside of Atlanta, Ga., and is one of 900 member-owned electric cooperatives in the United States. From the late 1990s on, the co-op’s members lost nearly $400 million dollars to Brown’s for-profit… Continue reading

JF NESEA Thumbnail
Article, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 31, 2016

Watch: John Farrell Presentation – Does Utility 2.0 Get Us to Energy Democracy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/watch-john-farrell-presentation-does-utility-2-0-get-us-to-energy-democracy/

ILSR’s John Farrell led a seminar on energy democracy at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s 2016 annual conference in Boston, MA. The conference was held from March 8th through the 10th and focused on advancing the adoption of sustainable energy practices by bringing together over 3,500 renewable energy professionals. John’s presentation was titled “Does Electric… Continue reading