In this episode of Local Energy Rules, we revisit an earlier episode from our archives in which ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell speaks with Mariel Nanasi of New Mexico’s New Energy Economy about how the citizens of Santa Fe could benefit from the economic and environmental benefits of switching to a city-owned utility. … Read More
In this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell interviews Lena Entin about an inspiring and successful community-driven campaign in Holyoke, Mass., to shut down an aging coal plant operated by one of the world’s largest multinational electric utility companies. The two discuss the campaign’s efforts to replace the dirty plant with clean energy to improve health outcomes for the community and provide a just transition for the power plant’s workers.… Read More
I join with clean energy advocates across the country in celebrating Xcel Energy’s announcement yesterday that it will reduce carbon emissions in its electricity generation by 80% from 2005 to 2030, and to zero by 2050. However, I have three questions about whether the company’s actions will match the words.… Read More
How does a growing, national nonprofit organization help homeowners complete the circle between clean energy ownership and policy advocacy? ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell talks with Anya Schoolman of Solar United Neighbors (SUN) in this October 2018 recording about two major clean energy policies before the Washington, D.C., city council. SUN’s solar co-op model has spread to 10 states, and builds the constituency for clean energy policy.… Read More
We’re inspired by the passage of the Portland Clean Energy Initiative this week, a ballot measure that will now provide $30 million per year for the city’s clean energy and climate work. Even better, the funds will target local energy deployment that lifts up low-income folks and people of color with energy savings and solar energy, as well as jobs installing these cost-saving measures. But there are other tools more readily at a city’s disposal for funding climate work.… Read More
As monopoly utilities merge and grow bigger, they wield more power. This commentary advises South Carolina regulators, legislators, and residents to be cautious of a proposed takeover of SCANA by investor-owned utility Dominion Energy.… Read More
In a landmark study of Minnesota’s electric grid, the Smarter Grid study found that it’s cost-effective to replace fossil fuel energy sources with wind and solar to dramatically lower carbon pollution from electricity generation. But within this bigger finding was … Read More
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 customers. They say gobbling competitors delivers operational efficiencies and cost savings. But who sees the benefits? And what are the unspoken costs?
This report explains how concentration of power in monopoly utilities delivers fewer customer benefits than alleged, and how the unmentioned costs of concentrating power in a few firms undermines protection of the public interest.… Read More