Practical Energy Policies can Boost Local Economies

solar parking lot
Instead of waiting for the federal government to help give local economies a boost, municipalities that put the right local energy policies in place might be a much more effective and proactive method, to not only start pumping up the economy with job creation, but also keeping energy dollars local through reducing energy use and increasing the amount of local clean energy production.

“The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But dozens of cities are creating jobs and cleaner energy using their own power.” – ILSR

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) has put together a great resource for cities looking to take more responsibility for their own economy, in the form of eight practical energy policies, in detail and with case studies for each one.

The eight practical energy policies that cities can and have used to their economic advantage are as follows:

  1. Municipal utilities
  2. Community choice aggregation
  3. Building energy codes
  4. Building energy use disclosure
  5. Local tax authority
  6. Solar mandates
  7. Permitting
  8. Local energy financing

These policy examples don’t adhere to any single political platform, but instead are focused on practical, local, solutions that can help municipalities take advantage of the untapped resources in their area. Not all of the policies can be (or expected to be) put into place by any one city, but the range of policies suggested by ILSR offer a variety of ways to both generate more jobs and keep more of the money spent on energy within the local economy.

The full report, City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy, can be downloaded from ILSR, and a variety of other resources are also available from their website.

[Image: kevin dooley]

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!


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