Join the 30 Million Solar Campaign Launch on Feb. 17th..
Last week, we released a hopeful story of new renewable energy financing — a community bank in Iowa launches a new online branch, Greenpenny, that exclusively uses customer deposits to finance new solar, energy storage, energy efficiency, and other clean energy options. It’s no surprise to see, given that the bank has already been a key player in the incredible success of the Winneshiek Energy District (a rural Iowa county with more solar per capita than any U.S. metro area other than Honolulu) — we’ve got a podcast on that, too!
Also, securitization policy is on the move around the country, with an aim of letting utilities refinance power plants to lower the cost of closing coal (and other) power plants. But will it let utility management and shareholders off the hook? We offered brief testimony to the Minnesota legislature on securitization, highlighting a new report from Clean Energy Action in Colorado that suggests utilities should have to pay for bad decisions (for a basic overview of securitization, see ILSR’s 2019 securitization post).
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Our country currently faces three major challenges: rebuilding the economy, addressing the climate crisis, and rectifying racial injustices. Building local solar to serve 30 million homes — the equivalent of one in four American households — can help us solve all three. We hope you’ll join us for the national launch of this campaign on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021.
On February 2, 2021, ILSR’s John Farrell testified in favor of a securitization bill advancing in the Minnesota House. Farrell’s testimony at the informational hearing largely supported the bill (with a few tweaks) that is undergoing review by the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy committee.
For this episode of Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell speaks with Greenpenny Vice President Jason MacDuff. Greenpenny, a program started by Decorah Bank & Trust, is a virtual bank that exclusively invests in renewable energy projects. Farrell and MacDuff discuss what’s needed for a prompt clean energy transition, the value of community banks, and the success of the innovative Greenpenny model.
The Community Power Scorecard grades states based on their energy policies and how these policies help or hinder local clean energy action. This year, 3 states excelled, 8 states saw above average scores, 12 were average, 14 were mediocre, and 14 states received failing grades at enabling individuals and communities to take charge of their energy futures.
While ENERGY STAR® and other energy efficiency labels are familiar to many, purchasing appliances with energy saving technology is out of reach for many people. The Shift Model is an approach that uses utility rebates to shift home appliance sales to more efficient models.