- Utility Justice- Fighting Xcel's Rate Hike
- Mobilizing for Inclusive Financing
- Coalition Building with the Just Transition Fund
- Organizing City Council Candidate Forums
- Continuing the Energy Efficiency Cohort
Utility Justice- Fighting Xcel's Rate Hike
In 2022 Community Power continued our utility justice work by fighting against Xcel’s 21% rate hike proposal - which includes seeking a guaranteed profit of ~10.2%. For the first time ever, we have mounted the ability to formally intervene - with the help of pro-bono legal representation from ELPC, and strong partnership of the Just Solar Coalition. If we invest in the grid, it should be to enable the resilient grid of the future not to line the pockets of Xcel or re-entrench an outdated grid. With our help, momentum for equity on the power grid is growing to get these issues of inequity and community control be taken seriously at the state-level.
Mobilizing for Inclusive Financing
On a short notice, we packed the hearing room with supporters wearing the Inclusive Financing logo button!
Community Power continued our 6-year long quest organizing alongside dozens of other groups for Inclusive Financing for energy efficiency, which does not require credit or income-tests, immigration paperwork, or property ownership. We held our ground at every step of the way, writing comments in favor of expanding access to energy efficiency improvements to renters and community members who have been underserved by preexisting energy efficiency programs due to the above barriers we continue to point out.
Make no mistake, this was an uphill battle. Some institutional names in energy efficiency mobilized to block even a pilot of this innovative well-tested but new-to-Minnesota Inclusive Financing program to preserve their own programs as the sole methods of delivering efficiency by putting forth positions that miss and sideline real stories from Minnesota saying what they want and need.
Thanks to our efforts, the width of the gap in who are not being served by existing efficiency programs is now clearly on record and supporters in the community are even more galvanized. This is only the beginning!
Coalition Building with the Just Transition Fund
We are founding coalition members mobilizing for a People’s Climate & Equity plan in Minneapolis - a plan that would put real resources ($10 million annually to start) behind climate action and do so in a community-driven way. Community Power sees this effort as a way to create reliable streams of dedicated funding for the plan in ways that are both equitable for low income and democratically controlled. Stay tuned as it is due to vote on City Council this spring!
Organizing City Council Candidate Forums
Next year is yet another local elections year - a critical one to set the tone for the next few years of climate justice work. We are gearing up to do what we’ve done the last three election cycles - interview every single candidate running for office and hold energy justice candidate forums. In 2021, we held over 50 meetings to educate candidates for Minneapolis City Council or Mayor on how to be a climate champion for our city’s energy future. From this, we organized 10 candidate forums plus a candidate questionnaire so that our story of Energy Democracy in Minneapolis (and the struggles against Mr. Monopoly) can remain intact regardless of who voters elect. We also have provided ongoing issue briefings and technical support by request from multiple candidates once they were elected.
Continuing the Energy Efficiency Cohort
We continued close partnership with CEED, CUB, and a few amazing individuals to resource and support a group of 13 community-based organizations and community members to strategize together on how to open up access to efficiency to Twin Cities residents - in particular renters and households with low financial wealth. Recognizing that efficiency is the least-cost and most environmentally just way of meeting our energy needs, this group is laser focused on deepening participation in existing efficiency options while simultaneously pushing for improvements and additional efficiency options that better meet community needs.