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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Aug 17, 2017

Press Release: Minneapolis Mayor’s Proposed Budget Unlocks $2M+ for Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-minneapolis-franchise-fee/

Contact:
John Farrell
jfarrell@ilsr.org
(612) 808-0888

Proposed budget would enable Minneapolis residents, businesses to save millions on energy costs

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — A few weeks ago, cities across the country responded to President Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord with their own commitments. But the City of Minneapolis, under a budget proposed by Mayor Betsy Hodges, is poised to do something novel: put real resources behind its climate and energy pledge. The mayor’s budget proposal would unlock more than $2 million in new funding, leverage more than $20 million in utility conservation funds and expand access to energy savings to many more residents and businesses

Included in Mayor Hodges’ proposal, unveiled this week, the city would increase its natural gas and electricity franchise fees by 0.5 percent — a nominal increase on payments already made by all utility customers in Minneapolis. The increase would yield substantially deeper resources for the city to pursue urgent energy goals, including retrofits of 75% of homes by 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

“The mayor’s commitment would juice up the city’s one-of-a-kind Clean Energy Partnership with utilities Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy,” says John Farrell, a member of the citizen advisory board to the Partnership and director of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). “It would mean far more city residents and businesses would have access to tools to cut their energy use, and be able to go deeper to reduce energy costs by 20% or more.” Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matthew Douglas-May | No Comments | Updated on Aug 2, 2017

Zero is the Hero: Zero Net Energy Buildings Reach New Communities, Promising Savings, and Renewable Energy

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

As energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies continue to improve both functionally and economically, Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings are spreading in communities around the country. The energy savings and environmental benefits of ZNE buildings, which produce as much energy using on-site renewables as they consume, are catching the attention of city leaders, regulators, and… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jul 13, 2017

Local Solar Power: Red Plus Blue Makes a Green Tea Party – Episode 24 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-solar-power-episode-24-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this week’s episode of Building Local Power we interview Debbie Dooley, President of Conservatives for Energy Freedom and co-founder of the Green Tea Coalition in the southern United States. Dooley’s organizations promote “consumer choice in the energy field” to “provide competition” and stop monopolies from limiting their customer’s options in renewable energy. The Green… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 24, 2017

Three Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and Three Ways to Fight Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/3-forces-fighting-local-renewable-energy/

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive markets.

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 12, 2017

Slow-to-Accelerate EV Charging Program Provides Lessons for Improvement

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-energy-ev-charging-minnesota/

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.

By April 2017, a year and a half after its launch, just 95 Xcel customers had opted in to the state-mandated electric vehicle charging tariff. With nearly 1,000 plug-in vehicles registered to Minnesota drivers — a bulk of them likely in Xcel’s metro-area territory — participation numbers hover well below reasonable expectations. Why? Continue reading