Arkansas Utility Leads on Energy, Broadband

Date: 2 Mar 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Ouachita Electric Cooperative, nestled deep in south-central Arkansas, is an unlikely innovator in a pair of industries struggling to adapt to shifting market dynamics: electricity and broadband.

Despite rising demand for energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation, large investor-owned utilities — and many rural electric co-ops — have resisted programs to address those needs. Likewise, corporate Internet service providers frequently offer shoddy service at high rates, a particular problem in rural areas with limited competition.… Read More

Connectivity’s Community Impact: Looking At The Numbers

Date: 24 Sep 2016 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

People rave about next-generation connectivity’s possibilities in rural economies, but what does that mean for locals? A recent survey quantified the actual impact of a reliable high-speed Internet connection in an underserved area. Central Minnesota telephone cooperative, Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC), released the results of an impact survey on their newest fiber Internet service customers. CTC … Read More

Local Utilities Have Lost Local Control

Date: 23 Jun 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This post made possible by the tireless efforts of ILSR intern Abbigail Feola. She dug up the data, identified the story worth sharing, and wrote the following piece below. Historically, the purpose of both municipal and cooperative utility agencies has been to bring energy services to communities that for-profit corporations thought unprofitable to serve. This philosophy … Read More

Members Reviving Atlanta Electric Co-op After CEO Takes Millions – Episode 31 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 5 Apr 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Cobb EMC serves around 175,000 member-owners just outside of Atlanta, Ga., and is one of 900 member-owned electric cooperatives in the United States. Mark Hackett, president of member-driven Cobb EMC Forum, joins John Farrell this week to talk about how an engaged membership continues to be essential to defending the vitality of a locally owned electric company.… Read More

Are Rural Electric Cooperatives Driving or Just Dabbling in Community Solar?

Date: 11 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Electric cooperatives, member-owned organizations that sell electricity to those within their service area, are perhaps the nation’s largest group of utilities that could champion clean, local power. They tend to cover enormous swaths of the most rural territory, often with excellent wind and solar resources. In one manner of renewable energy, cooperatives are leading the fray: … Read More

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