A Series of Local Energy Rules

A growing number of cities, big and small, are committing to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Today, more than 100 cities have adopted formal commitments to do so.

While these commitments are certainly inspiring, they often prompt more questions than they answer.

How can cities reach these goals and do so equitably and in ways that broaden participation? Will electricity come from local, distributed sources or far flung, centralized facilities? What can others learn from those cities that are taking the lead?

This multi-part podcast series — Voices of 100% — will be highlighting the voices of local leaders and taking a deeper dive into these questions to learn how communities are implementing renewable energy commitments.


Do you know any local leaders we should interview about 100 percent renewable energy commitments in their communities? Send us an email at voicesof100@ilsr.org.

Follow along and chime into this conversation on social media using the new hashtag #Voicesof100, and existing hashtags #Readyfor100 and #Mayors4CleanEnergy.


Voices of  Podcast Episodes

Episodes in this series are featured below. Be sure to check back for updates, explore all of our Local Energy Rules podcast episodes, and subscribe to this podcast feed: iTunes or RSS/XML.

Voices of 100%: A Renewable City Coalition Grows in Western Montana — Episode 137 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: A Renewable City Coalition Grows in Western Montana — Episode 137 of Local Energy Rules

Angel Ornelas

August 25th, 2021

For this Voices of 100% episode of Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell and guests Patrick Judge and Mark Juedeman discuss Helena’s commitment to 100% renewable energy. Helena has joined Missoula and Bozeman, building a commanding coalition in western Montana.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Eau Claire Solar Gardens Save the Day — Episode 134 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: Eau Claire Solar Gardens Save the Day — Episode 134 of Local Energy Rules

Angel Ornelas

July 14th, 2021

For this Voices of 100% episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell and guests Kate Beaton and Ned Noel examine Eau Claire’s clean energy goal, the citizen participation that has supported its work, and the strategies the C... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: In Case of Emergency, Break Down Barriers to Net Zero — Episode 131 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: In Case of Emergency, Break Down Barriers to Net Zero — Episode 131 of Local Energy Rules

Maria McCoy

June 3rd, 2021

For this Voices of 100% episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell talks with guests Mark Gamba and Natalie Rogers of Milwaukie, Oregon. In 2020, the city declared a climate emergency and accelerated its climate action goals.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Youth Propel a Climate Action Plan in St. Louis Park — Episode 128 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: Youth Propel a Climate Action Plan in St. Louis Park — Episode 128 of Local Energy Rules

Maria McCoy

April 21st, 2021

For this Voices of 100% episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell and guests Larry Kraft and Emily Ziring discuss the St. Louis Park, Minn. climate action plan and commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Hanover Residents Raise Hands for Renewable Energy — Episode 125 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: Hanover Residents Raise Hands for Renewable Energy — Episode 125 of Local Energy Rules

Maria McCoy

March 10th, 2021

For this Voices of 100% episode of Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell talks with Hanover, N.H. Sustainability Director April Salas about coalition building, taking action in a small town, and slowing down to achieve goals the right way.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Louisville’s Clean Energy Pledge Takes On Multiple Crises — Episode 117 of Local Energy Rules

Voices of 100%: Louisville’s Clean Energy Pledge Takes On Multiple Crises — Episode 117 of Local Energy Rules

Maria McCoy

November 18th, 2020

For this Voices of 100% episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell talks with Brandon Coan and Gretchen Milliken about Louisville, Ky.'s 100% renewable pledge and how it intersects with the fight for racial justice.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Gainesville’s Utilities Craft Path to Zero Carbon — Episode 114 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Gainesville’s Utilities Craft Path to Zero Carbon — Episode 114 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Drew Birschbach

October 7th, 2020

For this episode of the Voices of 100% series, host John Farrell speaks with city commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos and climate advocate Bob Tancig of Gainesville, Fla. about the city’s renewable energy prospects.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Arkansas City Advances its Energy Action Plan — Episode 112 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Arkansas City Advances its Energy Action Plan — Episode 112 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Drew Birschbach

September 9th, 2020

For this episode of the Voices of 100% series, host John Farrell speaks with Mayor Lioneld Jordan and Environmental Director Peter Nierengarten of Fayetteville, Arkansas about their 100% commitment.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Midway to Local Goal, Missoula Seeks New Clean Energy — Episode 110 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Midway to Local Goal, Missoula Seeks New Clean Energy — Episode 110 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Drew Birschbach

August 12th, 2020

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series, host John Farrell speaks with two 100% renewable leaders in Missoula, Mont.: City Council President Bryan von Lossberg and Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: St. Louis Coalition Plans to Put Coal in the Past — Episode 106 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: St. Louis Coalition Plans to Put Coal in the Past — Episode 106 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

June 17th, 2020

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series, host John Farrell speaks with Rev. Rodrick Burton and Andy Knott. The three discuss how St. Louis created an inclusive clean energy plan and how the city can get to 100%... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Pandemic Pauses Clean Energy Planning in Georgia

Voices of 100%: Pandemic Pauses Clean Energy Planning in Georgia

Maria McCoy

May 20th, 2020

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Charles Utley. They discuss Augusta's commitment to 100% renewable energy and how a global pandemic affects city energy planning.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Michigan City Sets Steady Pace to a Clean Electricity Goal — Episode 102 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Michigan City Sets Steady Pace to a Clean Electricity Goal — Episode 102 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

April 22nd, 2020

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Amy Shamroe and Tim Werner. They talk about the city’s optimistic, yet pragmatic plan for clean energy in Traverse City.... READ MORE


Celebrating 100: A Spotlight on 6 Leaders of 100% Renewable Cities — Episode 100 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Celebrating 100: A Spotlight on 6 Leaders of 100% Renewable Cities — Episode 100 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

March 25th, 2020

For our 100th episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, we compiled a highlight reel from the Voices of 100% series. This episode celebrates the cities that are working toward our vision: community-driven, equitable, 100% renewable energy economies.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: A Long Island Town’s Ambitious Plan to Protect its Coast and Procure Clean Energy — Episode 97 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: A Long Island Town’s Ambitious Plan to Protect its Coast and Procure Clean Energy — Episode 97 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

February 12th, 2020

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with John Bouvier, a town council member of Southampton, New York. The two discuss setting ambitious goals, the unique challenges coastal... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Climate Justice Plan Upends Typical City Process, Putting Communities First — Episode 93 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Climate Justice Plan Upends Typical City Process, Putting Communities First — Episode 93 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

December 18th, 2019

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell speaks with Providence Director of Sustainability Leah Bamberger. The two talk about how energy democracy runs through the city’s new climate justice plan, which c... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: When 100% Renewable Electricity Isn’t Enough, Burlington Targets Net Zero — Episode 90 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: When 100% Renewable Electricity Isn't Enough, Burlington Targets Net Zero — Episode 90 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

November 20th, 2019

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell speaks with two leaders in Burlington, Vermont, about the completed 100% renewable electricity transition. Mayor Miro Weinberger and Darren Springer, general manager of Burlington... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Colorado Town’s Residents and Businesses Join Forces for Clean Energy — Episode 88 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Colorado Town's Residents and Businesses Join Forces for Clean Energy — Episode 88 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

October 23rd, 2019

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell asks Lissa Ray (climate activist) and Monique DiGiorgio (Managing Director of Local First) about Durango, Colo.’s recent commitment to 100% clean, renewable electricity.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: South Carolina City Tries Green Energy in a Red State – Episode 86 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: South Carolina City Tries Green Energy in a Red State – Episode 86 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

September 25th, 2019

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, Mayor Stephen Benjamin discusses the importance of local initiative, taking action on climate in the South, and how to ensure that a clean energy transition benefits everyone.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Will Oklahoma Cities Follow Norman’s Lead to Renewable Energy? — Episode 84 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Will Oklahoma Cities Follow Norman’s Lead to Renewable Energy? — Episode 84 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

August 28th, 2019

In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, Mayor Breea Clark explains what drove Norman, Okla., to make the 100% renewable pledge and its plans to tackle the ambitious goal.... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Cleveland Commits to Clean and Equitable Energy – Episode 82 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Cleveland Commits to Clean and Equitable Energy – Episode 82 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Maria McCoy

July 31st, 2019

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell talks with Jocelyn Travis, Campaign Manager for the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign in Cleveland. The two met in Milwaukee at t... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Can Philadelphia and its Suburbs Revolutionize Their Local Energy System? — Episode 80 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Can Philadelphia and its Suburbs Revolutionize Their Local Energy System? — Episode 80 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

July 3rd, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set ambitious commitments to transition to renewable energy, but how are they making these goals a reality? In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we dig into... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence — Episode 79 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence — Episode 79 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Alden Aaberg

June 20th, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set ambitious commitments to transition to renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In this episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

May 9th, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

March 6th, 2019

Over 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the city of Boulder, Colo., and the strategies it... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

January 24th, 2019

Today, over 100 U.S. cities have made formal commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. In our seventh episode of the Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we highlight how Madison, Wis., is pushing their coal-heavy, investor-owned utility to... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Abita Springs Fights for Community Solar in Louisiana — Episode 65 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Abita Springs Fights for Community Solar in Louisiana — Episode 65 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

November 19th, 2018

Nearly 100 U.S. cities of different sizes have made formal commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. In our sixth episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Abita Springs, the... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Will Portland Voters Opt for New Equitable Clean Energy Fund? — Episode 63 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Will Portland Voters Opt for New Equitable Clean Energy Fund? — Episode 63 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

October 31st, 2018

Across the U.S., over 80 cities have made commitments to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. In our fifth episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, Alan Hipólito, director of Verde and advocate with the ... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Atlanta Works Toward Clean Energy for All — Episode 62 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Atlanta Works Toward Clean Energy for All — Episode 62 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

October 10th, 2018

Across the U.S., over 80 cities have made commitments to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. As the largest such city in the Southeast, the city of Atlanta has been a regional leader in evaluating how to succeed. In our... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: San Diego’s Pathway Forward — Episode 61 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: San Diego’s Pathway Forward — Episode 61 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

September 19th, 2018

As a growing number of U.S. cities make commitments to reach 100 percent renewable electricity, how are cities making plans to achieve these goals? In our third episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, San... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Shifting the Paradigm toward Renewable Power in Pueblo, Colo. — Episode 60 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Shifting the Paradigm toward Renewable Power in Pueblo, Colo. — Episode 60 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

August 29th, 2018

As a growing number of U.S. cities make commitments to reach 100 percent renewable electricity, how are cities making plans to achieve these goals? In our second episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, John... READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Mayor Dale Ross on Georgetown’s Successful Switch to Renewable Power — Episode 58 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Mayor Dale Ross on Georgetown's Successful Switch to Renewable Power — Episode 58 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

August 8th, 2018

As a growing number of U.S. cities make commitments to reach 100 percent renewable electricity, how can cities actually achieve these goals? In this first episode of Voices of 100%, a multi-part series of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell interviews... READ MORE


Additional  Resources

Want more information? Find tools and materials from ILSR and others on how to advance renewable energy commitments locally, below.

Explore how to implement a 100 percent local, renewable energy commitment in your community, using ILSR’s Community Power Toolkit.

Locate cities and towns with existing commitments and explore state policies that help advance these clean energy goals, using ILSR’s Community Power Map.


More ILSR Energy Democracy Posts and Commentary

Read more from ILSR about the transition to 100 percent local, renewable power.

Local Control Clears the Path to a Clean Energy Future

Local Control Clears the Path to a Clean Energy Future

Katie Kienbaum

October 15th, 2020

Almost 200 local and state governments across the country have pledged to transition their communities to 100% renewable energy. To meet these goals, communities need more control over their electricity supply.... READ MORE


A ‘Year of 100’ for Local, Renewable Energy in 2018 — Episode 67 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

A 'Year of 100' for Local, Renewable Energy in 2018 — Episode 67 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

December 31st, 2018

In 2018, numerous states, utilities, and cities made big resolutions to shift to 100 percent clean energy. In a special New Year’s episode of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell and M... READ MORE


Three Questions about Xcel Energy’s Landmark Low-Carbon Announcement

Three Questions about Xcel Energy's Landmark Low-Carbon Announcement

John Farrell

December 5th, 2018

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... READ MORE


How Cities Can Fund Their 100% Renewable Ambitions

How Cities Can Fund Their 100% Renewable Ambitions

John Farrell

November 8th, 2018

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... READ MORE


Getting San Diego Ready for 100% Renewable Energy — Episode 52 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Getting San Diego Ready for 100% Renewable Energy — Episode 52 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

March 14th, 2018

More than 50 U.S. Cities have made commitments to reach 100 percent renewable electricity, but how do communities build the political will to adopt such goals, and how do they... READ MORE


Reminder: The Fight for 100 Percent Renewable is Political

Reminder: The Fight for 100 Percent Renewable is Political

John Farrell

June 28th, 2017

As more cities pledge their commitment to purchase 100 percent of their power from renewable sources, some researchers question the feasibility of such energy policies. Read John Farrell's response to... READ MORE


Broadly Sharing the Benefits of “Decarbonization”

Broadly Sharing the Benefits of “Decarbonization”

John Farrell

January 11th, 2017

After seeing a presentation on “deep decarbonization” outlining necessary changes to the U.S. economy in order to reach our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, John Farrell discusses some of the nua... READ MORE


From Our Partners

Check out numerous stories and other tools offered by our partners, who are advancing 100 percent renewable energy commitments across the country.


The Voices of 100% podcast series was originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter, our energy work on Facebook, or sign up to get the Energy Democracy weekly update.

Local Energy Rules is a regular podcast project of the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, produced by Energy Democracy Director John Farrell and Research Associate Maria McCoy, sharing powerful stories of successful local renewable energy and exposing the policy and practical barriers to its expansion.