Energy Democracy for All

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Energy Democracy is local people having control of how their electricity is produced and distributed to ensure everyone has access to affordable and clean power.

Two decades into the 21st century, advances in solar panels, battery storage, modernized electric grids and other technologies are revolutionizing how our electricity can be produced and distributed. But large utility companies with monopoly control over the market — such as Duke Energy and Dominion Energy — are keeping us locked into using increasingly expensive polluting fuels like coal and fracked gas to generate our electricity.

At the same time, the increasing impacts of global climate change, including dangerous heat waves and severe storms, are taking a toll on countless communities, but especially disadvantaged communities and communities of color. And monopoly utility companies charge ever higher rates while they knowingly continue to worsen the climate crisis.

But a movement toward Energy Democracy is growing across Appalachia and throughout the country. Local individuals and groups are standing up to demand a seat at the table with decision makers to ensure we transition to a system that is affordable and fair, provides community wealth and jobs, and is built on clean, renewable energy.

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Why Energy Democracy?

Learn how monopoly control and a focus on profit have locked us in a pattern of polluting fossil fuels and ever higher rates

Tell Congress: Support new power plant regulations

Our legislators need to support the EPA’s new rules to slash power plant pollution

Latest News

Biden Administration announces new actions to help energy communities take advantage of historic federal investments in clean energy

Today, the Biden Administration announced a series of actions intended to create jobs, opportunities and investments in energy communities, and to deploy clean energy projects on former mine lands. Appalachian Voices Executive Director Tom Cormons was invited to speak at the announcement.

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North Carolina’s Carbon Plan: Planned gas expansion is unnecessary and harmful

The argument for methane gas relies heavily on outdated models that inflate the cost-effectiveness of the fuel. Replacing coal with renewable energy is now cheaper than replacing coal with continued fossil fuel use.

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North Carolina’s Carbon Plan: What the utilities commission got wrong

While many organizations, including Appalachian Voices, released initial statements when the Carbon Plan was finalized, there is a lot to unpack in the 137-page document. Specifically, its release is riding on the coattails of Duke Energy’s proposed rate increases and rolling blackouts due to the failures of fossil fuels.

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Guest post: Alabama electric cooperatives rank last in new regional scorecard

If you haven’t heard, Energy Alabama has released an updated scorecard evaluating the performance of Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives in areas such as democratic governance, member services, and access to clean energy, to name a few.

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Turning Coal Ash into Art

In Walnut Cove — a community whose history has been tainted by coal ash for decades — The Lilies Project has turned coal ash into art, and is expanding to encompass the town’s story beyond coal ash.

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Rural communities won billions of dollars to fund renewable energy

Last year, rural advocates won big in the Inflation Reduction Act by securing billions of dollars for rural communities to implement clean energy. Now, the USDA Rural Utilities Service is asking for input on how to set up and roll out these funding programs.

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