The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Energy Democracy initiative ranked state energy policies in the 2020 Community Power Scorecard, released February 5, 2020. Each state was evaluated to determine whether its energy policy gives individuals, cities, and communities the choice to build clean energy wealth locally, rather than rely on incumbent utility companies.
Only one state received an “A” for energy democracy on this year’s Scorecard: Massachusetts. An additional 8 states and the District of Columbia earned a “B”. The remaining 41 states must do more to increase the economic benefits from expanding renewable energy by granting more authority to cities and communities.
The Community Power Score matters because more than 150 cities across the US have adopted ambitious 100 percent renewable energy goals. The success of these commitments hinges on whether state policy gives them the power to take charge of their energy future and equitably share the economic benefits created by doing so. For example, Burlington, Vt., controls its own utility and already has 100% renewable electricity. In California, over 4 in 5 community choice programs give customers the option to go 100% renewable at a modest price, and all of them meet or exceed the renewable energy provided by the incumbent monopoly.
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