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local energy rules podcast logoIt can build a political movement for climate change by giving average folks some skin in the renewable energy game, and it’s boosting local economies in unexpected places and unexpected ways across America.  That’s why Local Energy Rules.

A project of the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Local Energy Rules is a twice monthly podcast featuring ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell and Research Associate Karlee Weinmann (formerly Matt Grimley), sharing powerful stories of successful local renewable energy and exposing the policy and practical barriers to its expansion.  Our audience is researchers, grassroots organizers, and grasstops policy wonks who want vivid examples of how local renewable energy can power local economies.


Subscribe to the podcast feed: iTunes or RSS/XML.  New episodes are published bi-weekly on Thursdays. Sign up for new podcast notifications and weekly email updates from the energy program.

Also check out ILSR’s other podcasts: On Building Local Power, we feature original research and discussions with our staff members on how we can increase our communities’ local power. On Broadband Bits, fellow initiative director Chris Mitchell interviews experts on Internet access and municipal broadband issues from around the country.


Podcast Episodes

Every episode page contains a detailed introduction of the interviewee as well as deep analysis of the issues discussed in each episode.

Podcast Number: Podcast Name: Interviewee: Title:
51 Electric Vehicles Use Local Power to Cut Pollution and Driving Costs John Farrell and Karlee Weinmann Researchers, Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Energy Democracy initiative
50 In Small-Town Iowa, a Movement to Own the Future Andy Johnson, Joel Zook, and Larry Grimstad Leaders, Decorah Power
49 Declare Energy Independence with Solar (Just Shop Around First) Vikram Aggarwal CEO, EnergySage
48 Amid EV Surge, Austin Eyes a New Way of Doing Business  Karl Popham Electric Vehicles Technology Manager, Austin Energy
47  Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption of Two ‘Sexy Electrics’: Solar and Electric Cars  Brad Smith Sustainability Outreach and Education Specialist, Boulder County, Colorado
46 Will All New Vehicles Be Electric By 2030? One Expert Says Yes  Tony Seba Entrepreneur & Author, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation
45 Working Together, Small Solar Firms Compete with Big-Name Rivals Stephen Irvin President, Amicus Solar Cooperative
44 Pioneering Community Solar in the Granite State Peter Hansel Investor and Steering Committee Member, Monadnock Food Co-op solar project
43 Westchester Power Puts New York Communities in Charge of Energy Future Glenn Weinberg Former Program Director, Westchester Power
42 Municipal Utility Offers Springboard for Minnesota City’s Energy Vision Michael Wojcik Ward 2 Council-member at City of Rochester, Minnesota
41 In New England, Cooperative Values Drive Solar Growth Isaac Baker Founding Member & Vice President for Community Solar at Co-op Power
40 At the Two-Year Mark, Key Takeaways from the Clean Energy Partnership John Farrell Director of Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
39 In Santa Fe, Momentum Builds for Locals to Take Charge of Electricity System Mariel Nanasi Executive Direcor of New Energy Economy
Extra John Farrell Gives Keynote Presentation at Midwest Energy Fair NA
38 Mountains Beyond Mountains: How Green Mountain Power Became More Than an Electric Utility Mary Powell CEO of Green Mountain Power
37 Competition and Freedom at Stake Barry Goldwater Jr. Former U.S. Representative from California
36 Utilities Strip Consumers’ Control Over Energy Bills Rick Gilliam Program Director of DG Regulatory Policy
35 Northeast Iowa’s Winneshiek Energy District Shows How Communities Can Capture Local Energy Dollars Andy Johnson Director of Winneshiek Energy District
34 Sunshine and Ownership: A Cooperative Garden Blooms in North Minneapolis Timothy DenHerder Thomas General Manager of Cooperative Energy Futures
33 Freeing the Electric Cooperative from Serfdom? Ed Marston Former Board Member of Delta-Montrose Electric Association
32 A Kansas Electric Cooperative Offers Energy Savings with $0 Down Brian Dreiling Manager of Energy Services of Midwest Energy
31 Members Reviving Atlanta Electric Co-op After CEO Takes Millions Mark Hackett President of Cobb Electric Membership Corporation Forum
Extra John Farrell Gives Plenary Presentation at NESEA NA
30 Microgrids and Regulation with Chris Villarreal Chris Villarreal Director of Policy for Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
29 Clean Coalition’s Community Microgrids Craig Lewis Executive Director of the Clean Coalition
28 Don’t Take the Bait: Exelon’s Ambitions Go Beyond D.C.’s Power Anya Schoolman Executive Director of the Community Power Network
27 Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento Brent Sloan Energy Expert at Sacramento Municipal Utility District
26 Solar for All: An Article of Faith Julia Nerbonne Executive Director of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Extra Unanswered Questions from the Public Rooftop Revolution NA
25 Kansas City’s Royal Effort to Solarize City Rooftops Charles Harris Project Manager at Kansas City, Missouri
24 Duking It Out Over Municipal Solar in Raleigh Robert Hinson Renewable Energy Coordinator at Raleigh, North Carolina
23B Lancaster: The Leading Solar City? Jason Caudle City Manager at Lancaster, California
23A Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice Lane Sharman Chair of the San Diego Energy District Foundation
22 A Deep Dive on Value of Solar and the Future of Solar Energy Karl Rabago Executive Director of Pace Energy and Climate Center
21 One City Utility is Carbon Neutral, Today Jim Stack Senior Resource Planner of Palo Alto Utilities
20 The Power of the Collective Energy Purchasing K.C. Doyle Founder of Prairie State Local Government Sustainability Network
19 The Leading Community Energy Aggregator Dawn Wiesz Executive Director of Marin Clean Energy
18 A Perfect Storm for Renewables Jay TenBruggencate Board Member of Kauai Utility Cooperative
17 How Can Communities Leverage a Better Energy Future? Stephen Fenberg Executive Director of New Era Colorado
16 Millions of People investing in Solar Billy Parish President at Mosaic
15 Envisioning an Innovative Local Electric Utility Ken Regelson Community Organizer in Boulder, Colorado
14 A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar Mariel Nanasi Executive Director of New Energy Economy
13 How Solar Saves on Grid Costs Michael Deering Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Long Island Power Authority
12 The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa? Warren McKenna Manager at Farmers Electric Cooperative
11 A Once-in-a-Generation Chance to Achieve a City’s Energy Goals John Farrell Senior Research at Institute for Local Self-Reliance
10 Vermont’s Standard Offer Renewable Energy Program David Blittersdorf Founder and CEO of All Earth Renewables
9 A Community Solar Gold Standard Joy Hughes Organizer at Solar Gardens Institute
8 Florida City a World Leader in Solar Ed Regan Assistant General Manager for Strategic Planning at Gainesville, Florida
7 600 Investors in South Dakota’s Premier Community Wind Project Brian Minish CEO of South Dakota Wind Partners
6 Paul Spencer and the Community Solar ‘Holy Grail’ Paul Spencer Founder and President of Clean Energy Collective
5 Susan Osborne and Boulder’s Clean Energy Takeover Susan Osborne Former Mayor of Boulder, Colorado
4 Randy Caviness and Community Wind in Iowa Randy Caviness Member of Green Energy Farmers
3 Steve Johnson of Convergence Energy in Wisconsin Steve Johnson Vice President of Business Development at Convergence Energy
2 Bill Moyer from the Backbone Campaign in Washington Bill Moyer Community Organizer of the Backbone Campaign
1 Anya Schoolman from the Mount Pleasant Solar Cooperative Anya Schoolman Director of Community Power Network