Over the weekend the campaign for a municipal utility option in Minneapolis, MN, got another boost: the endorsement of the city Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The campaign’s goal is to increase clean, affordable, reliable, and local energy deployment in the city through meaningful negotiations with the utilities over their expiring franchise contracts in 2014, or by exercising the city’s right to own an operate its own electric and gas utilities.
If Minneapolis follows in the footsteps of Boulder, Colo., it may be just the first of many cities in Minnesota to consider the municipal option.
11 other cities have expiring franchise agreements with Xcel Energy in the next three years and many of them may be interested in how they can get more affordable and reliable electricity service while also increasing renewable energy and local economic development. The cities are mostly in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and include: Hopkins, Mound, Mounds View, Grant, Mankato, North Mankato, Edina, Maplewood, Robbinsdale, South St. Paul, and Stillwater.
Interestingly, Edina is the first city in the state with a PACE program that provides simplified, low-cost financing for commercial energy retrofits. The city and its residents and businesses should keep an eye on Minneapolis.
Photo credit: JasonLangheine