There has been a 100 year monopoly on the way Americans power their homes; in case you did already know. Pretty much ever since electricity has been available it has been a highly lucrative and policed utility. Prices are variable, often unpredictable and set by large private companies. The bottom line being that everyday citizens have zero say in the matter.
But in comes solar and the influx of other cleaner energy alternatives and just like that people are starting to see energy as something more personal, something more local and possibly as something more democratic. Cities like Boulder, Santa Fe and Minneapolis have begun essentially “fighting the power” in an effort to localize their energy. Their goal: to restructure the utility business model in a way that will serve and empower the local community instead of feeding fat energy corporations roughly $450 million dollar per year (in Minneapolis).
They’ve begun passing laws in favor of municipalization–acquiring local private providers for a range a public services. Although they have been met with a decent amount of push back from electric companies the united residents continue to prevail. The end result is hoped to reduce local carbon footprints by implementing renewable energy sources. If you think about it, every city runs its own water utility so why should electricity require an outside provider?
These are all things to consider as we continue to move forward with the ever growing renewable clean energy trend, hopefully more cities will begin to take note and move in a similar direction.