Reviewing Two Years of a Novel City-Utility Partnership

Date: 16 Sep 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership has reached the end of its first two-year work plan and has gathered a lot of baseline data. But is it successful? As expected, it’s hard to tell.  The first work plan wasn’t adopted until well into the first year of the Partnership (2015), and a lot of existing utility and … Read More

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

Date: 6 Apr 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On-bill financing is not new. The Tennessee Valley Authority has offered it for years. More recently, numerous municipal utilities and electric cooperatives have created programs. But Midwest Energy, on the prairies of western Kansas, might have the best track record.

Brian Dreiling, manager of energy services at Midwest Energy, shared his utility’s story with Local Energy Rules this week, explaining the on-bill program, what makes it successful, and how an investment in the member-owner’s home is an investment in the utility.… Read More

Clean Power Plan: 50 Ways to Get More Clean, Local Energy

Date: 3 Aug 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Obama administration released the Clean Power Plan today requiring substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the electricity sector. The plan sets targets from the top down, but largely leaves the details to states, providing a significant opportunity to craft rules that encourage energy development and ownership from the bottom up. These 50 state plans have … Read More

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

Date: 9 Jan 2015 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 3 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control. Until recently, electricity service was similar to water or roads, where a natural monopoly was most efficient. Only a single, standardized electric grid was needed to connect each building. Technology options were limited to steam-powered … Read More

A $48 Billion Opportunity for U.S. Electric Customers

Date: 15 Dec 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency. But where does that money go? If we pursue a democratic energy system as outlined in ILSR’s new report … Read More

Is Per Capita Electricity Use Permanently Flat in the U.S.?

Date: 25 Nov 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are both proving to be near-existential threats to electric utilities in the early 21st century, the trends aren’t the same. The rapid rise of renewable energy gets the headlines, and it’s big news. Total renewable energy capacity has grown 10-fold since 2003 and in certain parts of the country, … Read More

A 2-Year City Workplan for Energy Democracy

Date: 21 Nov 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years?

It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered.… Read More

The History and Hope for a First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership

Date: 17 Nov 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and what can it accomplish? The following 8-minute video from one of the “lead rabble rousers” … Read More

Are Utilities or States the Leaders in Renewable Energy and Efficiency?

Date: 7 Nov 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A June 2014 study by Ceres highlighted the top electric utilities for renewable energy and efficiency. In an article discussing the findings, Utility Dive suggested that there are “wide disparities […] in the extent to which electric utilities currently deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency.” To find the source of these disparities, look no further than … Read More

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