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zapped - timothy vogel via flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 5, 2016

Zapped by the Utility: 5 Reasons Raising Fixed Fees is Unfair

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/zapped-5-reasons-raising-fixed-fees-is-unfair/

Like mine, your eyes probably glaze when you see items like “fuel cost adjustment clause,” but tucked in your monthly electric bill are two big components that matter. One is a fixed amount you pay to be connected to the grid every month. The second is a variable portion is based on what you use…. Continue reading

Article, Event filed under General | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jan 25, 2016

Best Practices in Community Composting Workshop

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/best-practices-in-community-composting-workshop/

Here’s what’s in store for our 2016 Best Practices in Community Composting Workshop, hosted by ILSR and Biocycle magazine. We hope to see you at the conference! Best Practices in Community Composting agenda 01-24-16 version (1) Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 21, 2016

David Morris Interviewed on KFAI’s Truth To Tell Radio Show

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/david-morris-interviewed-on-kfais-truth-to-tell-radio-show/

In 2014, on ILSR’s 40th anniversary co-founder David Morris sat down with Siobhan Kierans and Tom O’Connell, co-hosts of TruthToTell, a weekly public affairs program on KFAI radio in Minneapolis to talk about our history, our approach and our decentralist perspective.   TruthToTell Description: AIRING MONDAYS @ 9:00 a.m., TruthToTell is produced by CivicMedia/Minnesota as part… Continue reading

randy wilson
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2016

Just How Democratic are Rural Electric Cooperatives?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/just-how-democratic-are-rural-electric-cooperatives/

Randy Wilson knew you had to start somewhere. Knocking on doors and hanging around retail store parking lots, he and volunteers from the citizen group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth collected signatures. After weeks of holding out clipboards, they collected the more than 500 signatures needed to run for the board of the Jackson Energy Cooperative… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 5, 2016

Congress Gets Renewable Tax Credit Extension Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/congress-gets-renewable-tax-credit-extension-right/

In case you missed it over the holiday, Congress passed a new federal budget, notably extending tax credits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. The extension differs from previous ones in two ways: it extends the credits for multiple years but also (as ILSR has been discussing since 2012) phases them out over… Continue reading

Cinnamon Solar Logo
Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 4, 2016

John Farrell Interviewed for Solar Energy Show Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/john-farrell-interviewed-for-solar-energy-show-podcast/

John Farrell was recently interviewed by Barry Cinnamon for his Solar Energy Show podcast, titled “The Path to Energy Independence.” In this conversation, John and host Barry discuss the increasing availability of distributed generation of solar energy and the ways in which electric utilities are trying to keep their customers from benefitting. John argues for a change… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2015

Don’t Take the Bait: Exelon’s Feeding Frenzy Won’t Stop with Pepco

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dont-take-the-bait-exelons-feeding-frenzy-wont-stop-with-pepco/

Exelon, a monopoly electric utility and the nation’s largest nuclear power generator, made a $6.8 billion offer to purchase Pepco, Washington D.C.’s electric utility in April of 2014. Since then, they have swarmed across Pepco’s service area, getting the approval of federal regulators, state utility commissions, and shareholders. Washington D.C.’s Public Service Commission has, however, halted Exelon in… Continue reading

anya schoolman power dc
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2015

Don’t Take the Bait: Exelon’s Ambitions Go Beyond D.C.’s Power – Episode 28 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dont-take-the-bait-exelons-ambitions-go-beyond-d-c-s-power-episode-28-of-local-energy-rules/

In April 2014, Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power generator, made a $6.8 billion offer for Washington D.C.-based Pepco. Exelon – which already owns Illinois ComEd and Baltimore G&E – would become the largest electric utility in the country, with nearly 10 million customers. Shareholders, federal regulators, and many state utility commissions have approved the… Continue reading

John Farrell Nebraska Award
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2015

Video: Can Energy Democracy Energize the “Good Life” in Nebraska?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/can-energy-democracy-energize-nebraska/

The following presentation was given by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell, this year’s keynote speaker at the Sierra Club of Nebraska’s Annual Event on November 21st, 2015.  The presentation illustrates the march towards energy democracy by highlighting the spread of affordable distributed energy resources (such as wind and solar) and the intense pressure… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2015

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update

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/

Renewable energy continues to dominate new power plant capacity and distributed generation has contributed an increasingly large share. We’ve been tracking this phenomenon since April of 2014, and, finally, the Energy Information Administration has recognized the prevalence of distributed solar and is going to report estimates of this added capacity in their monthly updates. This… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 18, 2015

Building Local Equity: ILSR’s Impact in 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/building-local-equity-ilsrs-impact-in-2015/

ILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2016 by making an online tax-deductible donation to ILSR. Since our founding, building equity has been a core value and aim of our work. The word “equity” originally meant fairness or equality. Today the term has degenerated into a… Continue reading

Image: Amazon vs. Local Business
Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Nov 12, 2015

Before You Click on Amazon, Here’s Why Your Choice Matters (Infographic)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/before-you-click-infographic/

Amazon is rapidly expanding its online empire, but behind the conveniences that the company offers are a lot of hidden costs. We put together an infographic to see how shopping at Amazon compares with shopping at local businesses in its impact on jobs, taxes, the local economy, and community. Before you click, here’s why your choice matters: Continue reading

SandyNet Goes Gig
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2015

SandyNet Goes Gig: A Model for Anytown, USA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sandynet-goes-gig-a-model-for-anytown-usa/

Many of the most beautiful communities in the United States are in remote areas where incumbent cable and telephone companies have decided not to offer modern, high-quality Internet connectivity. Sandy, Ore., is one of them. Some 10,000 people live there among the lush green forests and beautiful vistas of the “Gateway to Mount Hood,” 25… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2015

5 Things Local Officials Need to Know About Amazon

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/5-things-local-officials-need-to-know-about-amazon/

Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion. Yet, as our analysis shows, Amazon fulfillment centers impose so many hidden costs on local economies that cities ought to reconsider welcoming them at all, much less greasing the way with public funds. Continue reading

hawaii solar price comes up short ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2015

Hawaii’s Net Metering Alternative Comes Up (Way) Short

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/hawaiis-net-metering-alternative-comes-up-way-short/

Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Hawaii approved the proposal of the islands’ largest utility to end net metering for solar customers. It’s the culmination of a years-long battle and a proxy in the national fight between utilities and solar producing customers. It’s also the first big decision taking Hawaii away from the… Continue reading