Energy Access Limbo Bar - July 2018 Newsletter

UPCOMING PROGRAM LAUNCH, CREDIT SCORE BARRIER

CenterPoint Energy will soon be launching its On-Bill Loan Repayment program.  While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it has one key limitation that comes from it being a loan-based program.

Centerpoint will contract the programs' lending out to an organization that has a policy of not making loans to utility customers with a credit score below 600 (see top of page 4 of this docket). That makes the work of Community Power and Partners on pursuing an inclusive financing option (as defined by the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership), all the more essential, so that energy savings and home comfort can be accessible to all regardless of credit score. 

 

     

Above is a photo of me caught in the moment performing some Credit Score Limbo. With a Credit Score of 690, you can see my combined expression of exasperation and relief as I managed to barely clear the limbo bar. I narrowly avoided having to pay a 2% higher interest rate than I would have if I was below 680. But as you can see below, I felt a bit lonesome when not all of my friends could join me.

 

 

 

OUR PLAN TO REMOVE THE LIMBO BAR 

 

Minneapolis, with the help of Ellen Anderson and the U of M Energy Transition Lab, is moving forward on studying inclusive on-bill financing to further expand access to efficiency resources. 

Last May, Community Power hosted inclusive financing expert Harlan Lachman visiting Minneapolis where he had encouraging and productive meetings with City Council, utility officials and community members. 

Journalist Frank Jossi with Midwest Energy News took the opportunity to interviewed Harlan as well as Community Power, and has published this informative & personable article.   

 

A LIMBO STICK IN FRONT TO COMMUNITY SOLAR ACCESS AS WELL    

 

Xcel Energy has proposed a Value of Solar rate to compensate solar garden subscribers in future solar garden projects that is too low to make them accessible to residential or low-income subscribers. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and investors (pictured below) have it in their power to change that. They can either hold in place the limbo stick in front of access to community solar...

 ... or the PUC could respond to current efforts by advocates pushing to secure a residential adder to the Value of Solar which will make more just community solar projects possible and allow for participation by all the be victorious! 

       

These photos were from our "Solar Solstice" direct action event in 2016. The MN PUC has had almost 2 years to respond to our call and be helpful with a Residential or Low Income adder yet still has no immediate plans in the works ( See Petition to PUC here )

 

ADDITIONAL NEWS:

Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia (United Renters for Justice), Parks and Power, Socialist Alternative and the Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America organize "Corcoran is Not for Sale" tenants rally for renters’ rights, affordable housing  

* Some Rare Good Climate News: The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Weaker Than Ever.   (however...)

* The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Line 3, a controversial new tar-sands pipeline. Water protectors and other Line 3 opponents vow to continue to fight it.  

* Iowa town comes within 3 votes of passing a Municipal Electric Utility ballot initiative against incumbent utility Alliant Energy

 

Listening session to envision our energy future !

 The Northstar Sierra Clubs had its first "Reclaim Your Power" gathering to rally community voices and help make a 100% clean, renewable energy future a reality and to ensure Xcel Energy hears our voices!    

  Monday, July 30th, 6 PM - 8:30 PM  @  CWA Local 7200, 3521 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

FREE HOME ENERGY SQUAD RETURNS TO MINNEAPOLIS ! 

Thanks to the Clean Energy Partnership's new franchise fee funding, the City of Minneapolis is offering free energy efficiency home visits from the Home Energy Squad, and 0% financing on recommended energy-saving upgrades.

All residents living within either the North or South Minneapolis Green Zones are eligible regardless of income !   

Green Zones Boundaries

 

The offer will only be available while limited funding lasts, so sign up soon !

Homeowners and renters can call 651-328-6220 or visit mncee.org/hes-mpls to schedule a visit. To learn more about the city's 0% financing, if you qualify and how to apply, call 612-335-5884 or visit www.mnlendingcenter.org/mpls.

 

 

Have fun ! And until next time ...