Energy Democracy is Local Ownership Democratic Control Human-centered

Energy Democracy

A movement to decentralize the energy system by centering communities in the ownership and access of clean, affordable energy.

Why is energy democracy important?

Energy democracy is important because the current energy systems in the U.S. are primarily controlled by investor-owned utilities (IOUs), which are privately owned entities focused on maximizing shareholder profits. This private structure often sidelines public input and favors powerful interests, such as the fossil fuel industry. Energy democracy aims to empower communities to have a say in shaping a more resilient energy future, offering alternative utility structures that may not guarantee clean and affordable energy access but allow for direct public input and community advocacy for the type of power they desire.


Energy-efficiency programs only served about 5% of income eligible households in 2019


Only 13% of electric and gas utility energy efficiency spending is spent on income eligible programs despite 27.5% of the population being income eligible

Participation in energy efficiency programs is growing for income-eligible households (1.7 million in 2019 compared to 362,000 in 2015)

What else is there besides investor-owned utilities?

Approximately one-quarter of utilities are consumer-owned, including cooperative utilities owned by local communities and publicly-owned utilities operated by the government as nonprofits. These types of utilities are more inclined to embrace renewable energy and typically offer lower utility rates.

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