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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/

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 Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 9, 2017

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesotas-community-solar-program/

Update November 2016: From now on, we’ll keep the most recent data on the program’s development in this post I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Minnesota’s community solar program over the past couple years and it’s time to make one thing clear: Minnesota’s program is the best in the country. Why? Because there… 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 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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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jul 14, 2017

Recording: Energy Democracy – A Response to Trump’s Climate Wrecking Agenda

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/recording-energy-democracy-a-response-to-trumps-climate-wrecking-agenda/

On Thursday, July 13th, John Farrell participated in a phone call with Anya Schoolman of the Community Power Network detailing the future of renewable energy under the new Trump administration. Farrell addressed the tools that communities have to take control of their energy future, regardless of whether the federal government is a clean energy friend… 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 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

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 3, 2017

Declare Energy Independence with Solar (Just Shop Around First) — Episode 49 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/declare-energy-independence-with-solar-just-shop-around-first-episode-49-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

The combination of falling prices and rising interest put rooftop solar on a strong trajectory. But even as solar goes mainstream, it’s tough for consumers to tell which installer, which panels, and which financing is right for them.

There has been little transparency in solar pricing, and consumers without technical expertise have a tough time shopping around. It’s a barrier to widespread solar adoption that gnaws at Vikram Aggarwal, and one he’s trying to fix through his online solar-shopping platform, EnergySage.

“The solar economics are so good that if you are a business owner today in America and you are not looking at solar, you are leaving good money on the table,” Aggarwal said. “In a number of states, if you’re a homeowner and you’re not considering solar, you are again leaving good money on the table.”   Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, The Public Good, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 30, 2017

Independence & Local Self-Reliance

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/independence-local-self-reliance/

Here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we advocate for independence in a variety of forms. From strengthening the status of independent businesses in the economy to encouraging local governments to break free from monopoly Internet Service Providers and invest in their communities’ connectivity, independence is vital for small-scale, local economies. That’s why, in honor of Independence Day 2017, we’ve gathered resources from across our work that you can delve into during this long weekend.

We have a number of podcasts, articles, and infographics from all of our initiatives that discuss the vital role independence plays in the local economy. We know that you need some fodder for conversations during BBQs, travel to be with loved ones, and fireworks shows. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 28, 2017

Reminder: The Fight for 100 Percent Renewable is Political

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reminder-the-fight-for-100-percent-renewable-is-political/

As an increasing number of cities across the U.S. pledge their commitment to purchase 100% of their power from renewable sources in the coming decades, some researchers questioned the feasibility of such energy policies. One recent 100% study takes the position that it is impractical for the continental U.S. to commit to 100% water, wind,… Continue reading