Executive Summary A wave of consolidation has swept across the U.S. economy over the past decade, reshaping already-powerful corporations into financial and political powerhouses. The trend has taken particular hold among electric utilities, a sector where monopoly reigns virtually unchecked. Consolidated, investor-owned utilities now have service territories that span several states and include millions of… Continue reading
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If you work to secure Americans’ rights to solar energy or to accelerate the deployment of inexpensive renewable energy, you understand that not everyone is in favor. In particular, incumbent electric utilities tend to oppose competition in their (often monopoly) share of the electricity market. Where competition exists, it is plagued by unfairness. Below, we… Continue reading
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.
Mayor Gary Fuller won’t tolerate lies about his city. In a recent Opelika City News release titled, Setting the Record Straight – Response to Yellowhammer article, Mayor Fuller corrected the numerous misleading errors in a piece written by Jordan LaPorta. The Yellowhammer article covered a Taxpayer’s Protection Alliance Foundation (TPA) report, filled with errors and… Continue reading
The community of Rock Falls, Illinois, is well on its way to developing a gigabit municipal network to offer better connectivity to residents, businesses, and public facilities. Last week, the City Council adopted an ordinance that allows the city to issue general obligation bonds to fund citywide fiber-optic Internet infrastructure. Following Demand The city’s plan… Continue reading
Greenville City Schools (GCS), which obtains Internet access via the state’s Education Networks of America (ENA), used to obtain cable connections from big providers that worked with ENA. Comcast and CenturyLink are two of the local providers that lease lines to the schools with ENA as the entity that arranged the connections. Not anymore.
GCS, ENA, and the Greeneville Light & Power System (GLPS) have entered into a new partnership to use GLPS fiber-optic infrastructure to bring Internet access to school facilities. As a result, the school will cut telecommunications costs by approximately $50,000 per year and double their capacity. Continue reading
Wisconsin’s coal-reliant utilities remain cool to wind and solar despite mounting enthusiasm for renewables. This intransigence places them squarely in the crosshairs of one grassroots group leveraging support from customers and policymakers in order to realign the state’s energy economy with the public good. This is part of a series released in October 2016 for… Continue reading
As state regulators restricted the ability of home and business owners in Nevada to receive sufficient compensation for solar on their rooftops, some large companies started looking towards other options. In 2016, at least two major Las Vegas casinos agreed to pay multi-million dollar “exit fees” to leave the service of incumbent monopoly utility NV Energy… Continue reading
What happens when utility companies lose ground as their customers cut consumption and seek innovative technologies like rooftop solar? New business ventures to capture customer interest? Other new technologies? Instead, investor-owned utilities (through the Edison Electric Institute trade organization) poured money into communications consultants, and the result of this “Lexicon Project” says volumes about their plans… Continue reading
On July 9, John Farrell spoke to a group at the CommonBound 2016 Conference. The conference brought hundreds of leaders together to share “visionary strategies for achieving deep systemic change” in areas such as energy policy and economic justice. In this presentation, John detailed the growth of renewable energy and how new technologies and smart… Continue reading