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
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
How did one group of neighbors from Washington, D.C., band together to advance clean energy locally and then build a larger movement replicating their model elsewhere? In the latest episode from the Local Energy Rules podcast archive, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, revisits a 2013 interview with Anya Schoolman, the major force behind a unique, grassroots solar cooperative model that has since grown into Solar United Neighbors, now a national leader in distributed, cooperative solar. The two discuss effective ways to invest in solar energy and advocate for local policies to support distributed energy from the ground up—strategies as relevant in 2013 as they are today.… Read More
What can a town do to advance clean energy locally if it is fed up with its incumbent, investor-owned monopoly utility? In the latest episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, interviews Andy Johnson and Joel Zook, community members and local energy leaders from Decorah Power, about an upcoming ballot initiative in Decorah, Iowa, and the culmination of an organized, grassroots effort by residents to take back local control of their electric utility and energy future. In a midterm election year, this is one vote that those who care about local, clean energy will not want to miss.… Read More
What can a small city do to advance clean energy locally, if its state commissioners and legislators are not willing to take their jobs regulating monopoly electric utilities seriously? John Farrell interviews Philip Stoddard, the pioneering, fourth-term mayor of South Miami, Florida, who has been sticking up to the state’s incumbent utility, in order to make the state live up to its billing as the Sunshine State.… Read More
In October 2017, John Farrell gave a keynote address to the annual meeting and expo of AERO, a Montana organization with a similar mission of empowering communities to promote a sustainable economy. He addressed the widespread opportunity for clean energy in Montana, the shared desire of communities to capture that growing economic opportunity, and three ways communities can get started.… Read More
Featuring insights from ILSR’s 2017 report on electric vehicles, Nick Stumo-Langer interviews ILSR energy staff John Farrell and Karlee Weinmann about the opportunities that come with widespread vehicle electrification and the barriers that remain despite significant economic and environmental benefits.… Read More
The combination of falling prices and rising interest put rooftop solar on a strong trajectory. But even as solar goes mainstream, it’s tough for consumers to tell which installer, which panels, and which financing is right for them.
There has been little transparency in solar pricing, and consumers without technical expertise have a tough time shopping around. It’s a barrier to widespread solar adoption that gnaws at Vikram Aggarwal, and one he’s trying to fix through his online solar-shopping platform, EnergySage.
“The solar economics are so good that if you are a business owner today in America and you are not looking at solar, you are leaving good money on the table,” Aggarwal said. “In a number of states, if you’re a homeowner and you’re not considering solar, you are again leaving good money on the table.” … Read More
Electric and autonomous vehicle technology supports the change, said Popham, whose city-owned utility is a leader in conservation and renewable energy. He recently spoke with John Farrell, head of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, about changes already in motion and what’s yet to come.… Read More