Building Community Capacity For Energy Democracy in the USA

Energy democracy is the simple idea that the transition we urgently need to clean, renewable sources of energysources should be accomplished hand-in-hand with an expansion of a more equitable economy and of a more participatory democracy. It is a vision in which the communities locked out of decision making about the current energy system -who more often than not are the communities who suffer the most from pollution and climate change - get the chance to determine what a future energy system looks like, and control it from the bottom up.

Beneath this simple idea is a bewildering array of strategies - new technologies, new models of regulation, and new forms of distributed and public ownership. Which kinds of renewable enegy production really build community power?

Rather than prescribing a single vision of what 'energy democracy' might mean, the deck below is designed to let you explore and remix the basic elements of an inclusive and sustainable energy system, grounded in the agency of communities to shape their own ecological and economic futures.

Please note that the deck (below) is an American project, so the tool is context-specific.

Community Solar

Green Worker-Owned Cooperatives

Solar Purchasing Cooperatives

Cap and Dividend

Carbon Tax-and-Invest

Community Chice Aggregation

Democratised Grid Management



Net Metering

Virtual Net Metering

Participatory Planning

Public Green Power Purchasing

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Smart Grids

On-Bill Financing

Community Benefit Agreements

Energy Efficiency Subsidies

Greening Community Institutions

Low-Income Energy Subsidies

Revolving Loan Funds

Smart Energy Regions

Sustainable Energy Utilities

Energy Investment Districts




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