Energy Democracy slides

Democratize by bringing energy systems under public ownership.

Decarbonize: restructure energy systems to be ecologically sustainable.

Decommodify: Remove the profit motive from energy provision: no one should go without heat for lack of means to pay.

Decolonize: Repatriate indigenous land, reparations for damage done to communities, end military spending, and ensure new energy infrastructure does not replicate systems of injustice.

Understanding the energy sytem:

How do utilities derive their profit?

Utility Bill Components

  • Base Rate
  • Revenue Decoupling Mechanisms (RDM)
  • Reconciling Mechanisms (Pass Through Costs)

Profit Structure
Revenue Requirement  = Operating costs + Return on rate base

Rate Cases:

Municipal Contract Expiration: Once-in-a-generation chance to own our energy!

  • Can be 20-30 years since last contract
  • Once-in-a-generation chance to own our energy
  • Negotiations started 

Obstacle: many progressive laws do not challenge private ownership and in fact depend on it

  • Make a member skill list – lots of lawyers, policy people and scientists in our networks
  • Try to find some inside contacts
  • Your expert partner may not endorse your goals
    • Citizen’s Utility Board was very useful in Chicago
    • Did not support municipal ownership of Com Ed
    • Bought into regulatory framework

Expect to start doing your own education workshops