Release: Solar and Energy Storage Threatens Utility Business Models, Enables Energy Democracy

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What happens to an electric utility when its big bets on new power plants are undercut by customers producing their own power from solar and storing it in cost-effective batteries?

Hundreds of utility power plants could become stranded assets if electric customers pursue these affordable alternatives to utility provided power, undercutting a century of the traditional “bigger is better” electric utility business model. The latest report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance details how battery storage literally and figuratively reverses the grid’s power flow and puts customers in charge. It offers policymakers, utilities, and individuals a roadmap of rules to capture this opportunity for energy democracy and save everyone money.… Read More

Amazon’s New Path to Monopoly Is Through Your Local Government (Episode 50)

Date: 12 Jul 2018 | posted in: Building Local Power, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On ILSR’s Building Local Power podcast, Stacy Mitchell and Olivia LaVecchia discuss their new report on Amazon’s push into government procurement. “We’ve found that this contract is yet another tool for Amazon to suppress competition, and is a particularly pernicious way to use local governments to facilitate their market power.”… Read More

Maine Community Moves Internet Project Forward with Incremental Financing

Date: 12 Jul 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The City of Sanford, Maine, is putting the final pieces of funding in place to move forward with its ambitious 45-mile fiber optic build, SandfordNet, the largest fiber infrastructure build proposed in Maine to date. Along with two other funding sources, the project will be financed by an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in downtown Sanford. According to the Journal Tribune, the project will cost $2.02 million in total to complete; that figure is higher than initially projected, due in part to fees to access utility poles.… Read More

Release: Amazon’s National Contract to Supply Local Governments Puts Cities and Schools at Risk, ILSR Report Finds

Date: 10 Jul 2018 | posted in: Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A national contract that Amazon secured last year to provide local governments with office and classroom supplies lacks standard safeguards to protect public dollars and public transparency, and puts cities and schools at risk of paying more and getting less, according to an investigation published today by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). View more information from our press release.… Read More

Report: Amazon’s Next Frontier: Your City’s Purchasing

Date: 10 Jul 2018 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A national contract opens the way for Amazon to take over billions of dollars in local government spending. In this report, we examine the contract and find serious concerns — including that it leaves local governments at risk of being ripped off, and sets Amazon up to expand its monopoly power. … Read More

Webinar: Shifting Power from Utilities to Consumers via Solar Plus Batteries

Date: 6 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The webinar –– Wednesday, July 18th @ 2 p.m. CT –– will cover the powerful upending of the electricity market structure on the doorstep, the implications for centrally planned power systems, and the policies that align market rules with the democratizing power of solar and energy storage.… Read More

Ohio Residents Exercise Community Choice to Bill Themselves for Public Solar — Episode 56 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 5 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Residents of Athens, Ohio, recently passed a carbon fee ballot initiative that will add 0.2 cents per kilowatt hour to electricity costs. On this episode of Local Energy Rules, Director of the Energy Democracy Initiative John Farrell speaks with UpGrade Ohio’s information and outreach director Mathew Roberts about this first-of-its-kind carbon fee and how a community-run energy utility made it possible.… Read More

Fiber Internet Provider Lights Up Communities in Idaho and North Carolina

Date: 5 Jul 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Ting Fiber has continued its expansion into two more U.S. metropolitan areas, lighting fiber up in a northern Idaho town and planting a flag in a city south of the research triangle in North Carolina. Residents of the region of greater Sandpoint, Idaho (a service area of nearly 10,000 residents), and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina (population of around 25,000), will soon see the benefits of fiber Internet access with Ting’s Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service.… Read More

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