Report: 8 Ways Local Energy Policies Can Boost the Economy

Print Friendly

Minneapolis MN – October 7 – The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes how dozens of cities are boosting their local economies while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases.

City Power Play:  8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy reports on how Chattanooga, TN, is adding over $1 billion to the local economy in the next decade by implementing one of the most advanced smart grids while delivering the fastest internet service in the country.  Sonoma County, CA, has created nearly 800 local jobs retrofitting over 2,000 properties for energy savings with city financing. Babylon, NY, repurposed a solid waste fund to finance retrofits for 2% of the city’s homes, saving residents an average of $1,300 a year on their energy bills at minimal cost to the city.

“These savings weren’t dependent on state or federal grants,” said report author John Farrell, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy. “These cities used their own resources to seize control of their energy future and economy.”

The report highlights eight practical energy policies cities can and have used to their economic advantage, from more rigorous building codes to solar mandates and easier permitting to the use of a wide array of financing tools to spur renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The brief case studies link to the text of the relevant ordinances.

The policies aren’t tied to a political ideology, but a practical and local one.  Cities have identified where they have untapped resources and deployed them to generate jobs and keep more of their energy dollars in the economy.

“Not every city can use every policy,” notes Farrell, “but every community can find at least one that will help them strengthen their local economy while contributing to the worldwide effort to reduce climate change.”

The report is freely available from ILSR’s Democratic Energy program: http://www.ilsr.org/initiatives/energy/

The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.