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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

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

lobbying or solar from us utilities ilsr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 25, 2016

Instead of Lobbying, Top 25 Utilities Could Have Doubled U.S. Solar Capacity

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/instead-of-lobbying-top-25-utilities-could-have-doubled-u-s-solar-capacity/

The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute just released a report analyzing the top 25 U.S. investor-owned electric utilities, and one of the highlights is finding that these 25 largest utilities collectively spent over $400 million of money (from their ratepayers) lobbying in the past four years. In many cases, this involved lobbying against net metering,… 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

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

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

Episode 33 - LER Podcast Feature Image
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2016

Freeing Electric Cooperatives from Fossil Fuel Serfdom? – Episode 33 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/freeing-electric-cooperatives-from-fossil-fuel-serfdom-episode-33-of-local-energy-rules/

Electric cooperatives arose from New Deal legislation that provided government-backed low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural areas that for-profit companies wouldn’t serve in the 1930s. They were engines of the rural economy. But today they face unique challenges, including a disproportionate reliance on coal-fired power, often purchased on decades-long contracts. Additionally, even though rural… Continue reading

Ep. 32 - LER Podcast Feature Image
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 6, 2016

A Kansas Electric Cooperative Offers Energy Savings with $0 Down – Episode 32 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/a-kansas-electric-cooperative-offers-energy-savings-with-0-down-episode-32-of-local-energy-rules/

It’s not sexy. But it can make you warmer. It can even make you cooler. On-bill financing provides loans for energy efficiency improvements through the local utility company, paid back with energy savings on monthly electric (or gas) bills. And it’s a powerful tool for simplifying the financing for energy savings, and for making home… Continue reading

Paulding County Courthouse
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2016

Members Reviving Atlanta Electric Co-op After CEO Takes Millions – Episode 31 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/members-reviving-atlanta-electric-co-op-after-ceo-takes-millions-episode-31-of-local-energy-rules/

Former CEO Dwight Brown (pictured right) did a number on the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (EMC). Cobb EMC serves around 175,000 member-owners just outside of Atlanta, Ga., and is one of 900 member-owned electric cooperatives in the United States. From the late 1990s on, the co-op’s members lost nearly $400 million dollars to Brown’s for-profit… Continue reading

CERTS Image
Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

by John Farrell, Matt Grimley & Nick Stumo-Langer Electric cooperatives have been the backbone of the nation’s rural electrical system for more than 80 years. Their mission and business model now face more challenges than ever, from financial to contractual to basic member control. But the opportunity is equally great, with a chance for member-driven investment… Continue reading

utility substation - Tyler Wilson via Flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2016

Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/pursuing-grid-modernization-in-a-monopoly-model/

How can a state modernize its electric system when it’s in the hands of vertically integrated monopolies? We offer some thoughts via its comments on a Grid Modernization docket being reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Background: the grid modernization docket is a relatively new requirement, asking the state’s largest investor-owned utility to explain… Continue reading