Beware of Utility Tactics used to Slow the Growth of the Solar Market

 We have seen a noticeable growing pattern of utility monopolies who are pulling all policy stops to slow the growth of the solar market. There was a fight against net metering for solar one that reached high profile last year in sunny Arizona as well as another in Georgia which led to a coalition between the Sierra Club and the Tea Party.

Solar installations have become the chief iconic symbol for independence and taking control of our energy future. A growing constituency of ratepayers do not want to be held hostage to the cost uncertainty of fossil fuels by being left to the whim of utility monopolies who are passive aggressively trying to slow the transition to renewable options.

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Progress on the Horizon

Xcel is making moves in the right direction towards a cleaner energy future. CEO Ben Fowke shares his thoughts on meeting the EPA carbon rules and much more


Testimonial Gallery

As part of an ongoing series, Community Power is reaching out to the public to hear their reasons for being a part of this young and engaging grassroots organization. 

Earlier this week at the City Council meeting, we saw a good turn out of constituents who were concerned about the energy future of the City of Minneapolis. Here are their testimonials:


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City Council Members hold Productive Discussion at July 7th Hearing

City Council MembersAt the July 7th hearing, Minneapolis City Council members on the Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee made it clear from the dais they intend for the proposed city-utility partnership to take action to accomplish some significant change in meeting the city's energy goals and vision.

This productive discussion among council members followed a presentation where the City Coordinator shared the Utility Franchise Negotiation Update, as well as the City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership Outline and a receive and file Request about recent decisions on Energy in Minneapolis.


Council Member Jacob Frey echoed Minneapolis Energy Option’s expectations about the city utility partnership:

“What I want to make sure is that this partnership structure ultimately has some teeth... to make some decisions at the end of the day. As many of you know I am not for just for setting up a work group or a task force or a commission or something that talks a whole bunch and goes home and watches TV. I want something to happen at the end of this and so I just need to make sure we are moving in that direction….”

Committee Chair Cam Gordon addressed Jacob Frey’s concern by stating he has a priority to approve a work plan for the first year of the partnership so that they will have items to work on right from the get go.

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Xcel's Rate Increase Public Hearing- interesting observations

    A public hearing about Xcel's 10.4% rate increase proposal was held at the Sabathani Center in South Minneapolis on the night of June 23rd. The public testimony by number of people speaking was overwhelmingly against Xcel's rate increase proposal as it stands. A robust presence by the Sierra Club was joined by an even greater number of speakers who were seniors or fixed income ratepayers.

As the testimony went on, a recurring point about the rate increase was emphasized. It is how the Mall of America and large corporations will get a lower rate than residential ratepayers who have a much tighter budget. Speaking of the Mall of America, one of the speakers testifying had observed lamps on the Mall of America running all day when they are totally not needed; making a point about easily preventable energy waste from commercial entities who can more easily pay for energy.

Click Here to see a TV news broadcast on the story saying that if the rate increase goes through 25% would be invested into existing power plants. There is additional coverage in the Star Tribune Here

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