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beyond sharing
Article, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 27, 2016

Watch: Beyond Sharing Webinar Recording

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

On May 11th, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance hosted a webinar titled “Beyond Sharing.” The webinar was led by John Farrell, the Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative. The webinar was based on our recent report: Beyond Sharing – How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power. The electric utility monopoly is breaking up, but will… Continue reading

racial disparity in electric cooperatives thumb
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 23, 2016

Being Black Still a Barrier to Rural Cooperative Board Membership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/being-black-still-a-barrier-to-rural-cooperative-board-membership/

In 1984, the New York Times ran a story highlighting the almost universally white boards of directors among 300 Southern electric cooperatives serving populations with thousands of African American member-owners: According to Oleta G. Fitzgerald, a staff lawyer with the [Southern Regional Council], a survey of 300 cooperatives in Southern states showed no more than… Continue reading

The Many Categories of Net Metering
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 19, 2016

The Many Categories of Net Metering (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-many-categories-of-net-metering-infographic/

Net metering is a common rule for the electricity system in nearly every state, allowing folks who generate their own electricity to get a fair credit on their bill for what they generate. But there’s more to the concept that a single person with solar on their rooftop, from cities wanting to offset energy use… Continue reading

border to border cover image
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

Salt Spring Conference Thumbnail
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Video: John Farrell Keynote Presentation – Salt Spring Community Energy Conference

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-john-farrell-keynote-presentation-salt-spring-community-energy-conference/

ILSR’s John Farrell was the keynote speaker for the Salt Spring Community Energy Group’s 2016 Conference in British Columbia, Canada on Saturday, April 23rd. Following the keynote presentation there were over a dozen different workshops on new energy methods and technologies that can be implemented by homeowners and businesses. John’s plenary illustrated the opportunities that communities… Continue reading

compost corner
Featured Article, Resource filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Brenda Platt | No Comments | Updated on May 7, 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/

Thank you for your overwhelming support of our International Compost Awareness Week (#ICAW) infographic! We have received so many thank you’s and requests for full resolution versions, so keep them coming! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL WEB-OPTIMIZED GRAPHIC We want you to be able to share these infographics under creative commons license, free of cost. If… 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

Article, Resource filed under General | 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