News and Updates from Community Power Network

By Emily Stiever on March 7, 2014

Check out exciting news and updates from the community renewable energy movement.

A warm welcome to our newest CPN members!

Appalachian Renewable Energy Consumer Coops is organizing a network of energy cooperatives in Appalachian Ohio to help members transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The coop is helping groups of neighbors reduce their energy consumption (conservation) and then work towards creating energy from renewable sources (such as wind or solar).

Clean Energy 4 All uses clean energy solutions (such as solar) to help charitable organizations save money on their energy bill, so that more resources can go directly toward serving those in need. They’ve also partnered with an accredited institution that provides vocational training in the clean energy field, to help individuals position themselves for future work in the solar industry.

USDA launches new loan program for rural electric coops to fund efficiency and renewables

The USDA recently launched the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP), where the Rural Utility Service makes direct loans to electric cooperatives (“coops”) and other rural electricity providers. The electricity provider can then re-loan the funds to their residential and commercial customers for customers to make energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements. Under some programs, such as on-bill financing, the customer would then repay the loan through their monthly electric bill.

Check out this summary on the program and download the EECLP powerpoint for more specific program details. This low interest rate funding has the potential to be a great opportunity for rural electric cooperatives to develop distributed generation programs and energy efficiency for their members.

CPN developing a resource guide on solar for low-income communities

There is currently a critical need to begin deploying solar in low-income communities. As a movement we also need to develop effective project models and policies to scale this deployment quickly and broadly.

CPN has begun collecting resources and examples of low-income solar organizations and initiatives. Check out our resource page and let us know you know of additional information we should be include.

VA SUN’s Solarize Blacksburg project off to an amazing start

CPN member VA SUN recently partnered with local organizations to launch Solarize Blacksburg, a bulk purchasing program to help Blacksburg, VA residents go solar together and get a discount. The group has had over 125 people sign up in the first two days and is still going strong!

Webinar on best practices for designing renewable energy legislation

The Clean Coalition and the Center for the New Energy Economy are hosting a webinar on March 13th on “Powering Change: Tools to Draft and Track Advanced Energy Legislation.” Coalition staff will present on Clean Coalition’s Resource Hub, including model policies and global best practices for designing renewable energy legislation. The Center for the New Energy Economy will give a tour of their innovative Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker and present an analysis of current energy-related legislation trends. Click here to register.