Community Power 2016 Year in Review

In 2016, we continued to build toward a Clean, Local, Equitable, Affordable, and Reliable energy future for Minneapolis and to inspire the exciting growth of the energy democracy work alongside many other organizations.

 

Some highlights from 2016!

 

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  • The year in City politics concluded with a 2017 Minneapolis City Budget that includes a fully-funded Clean Energy Partnership, added dollars for the City’s Climate Action Plan, and a Chief Resiliency Officer position (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation)

  • In October, we organized a kick-off meeting for our Inclusive Financing campaign, so that all energy customers can access the money to make their homes more efficient and lower their energy costs.

  • We, along with several coalition partners, have gathered over 3000 Energy Equity petition signatures supporting Inclusive Financing, Inclining Block Rates, and Clean Energy Workforce Training to make our energy more affordable and costs more equitable. This petition was launched on Earth Day of 2016 and will be sent to Governor Dayton, the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership, Xcel, and Centerpoint.

  • Won a Renters & Energy community engagement grant along with three neighborhood organizations to explore deep engagement methods as a way to increase participation and access to core energy programs like insulation and heating/cooling upgrades.          

  • Along with many other organizations, we influenced Xcel Energy to adopt a resource plan committed to 60% carbon emissions reduction by 2030 and to shutting down two units at one of the state’s largest coal-fired power plants.   

  • As promised, we held a follow-up event to our “#XcelSlowWalk” action, the #SolarSolstice at Xcel’s Minneapolis headquarters both thanking Xcel for becoming responsive to public concern over its delays to the solar garden program AND pushing Xcel to take bold action to eliminate disparities in who has access to participate in the program.

  • Meanwhile, we spoke at PUC hearings in opposition to Xcel's proposal to lower bill credits for community solar subscribers which would effectively slash all financial benefit to solar subscribers, particularly putting it out of reach for low-income subscribers.  

  • We hosted three University of Minnesota students learning about environmental justice and community-based action for their Political Ecology class.

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