Energy Democracy Resources

Sample documents, blog posts, videos, and much more below!


Energy and energy law are such complicated topics that we've often turned to making cartoons about it. Here's a collection of videos where Janelle Orsi shares her grapplings with the field of energy democracy:

Fields of Energy Democracy | 2022 | grapples with what “energy democracy” means and describe four fields where we can cultivate meaningful democracy.

Land Return as Energy Justice | 2022 | describes how our insights have led the Law Center to center a lot of our energy work on land return to Black and Indigenous people and on cultivating deeply participatory organizations.

Making Sense of a World with Purple Squirrels | 2022 | confronts the reality that renewable energy development will barely scratch the surface of emission-reduction goals, which leads to the conclusion that we need to transform our lives in much deeper ways.

Building Grassroots-Led and Community Owned Energy Projects | 2018 | unpacks the concept of community-owned energy and was delivered by Janelle Orsi at a day-long gathering of climate justice leaders exploring barriers to and opportunities for the development of community-owned energy.

Introducing People Power Solar Cooperative | 2017 | introduces the concept for what eventually became the People Power Solar Cooperative. 

The Story of the Permanent Energy Cooperative | 2017 | introduces the concept for what eventually became the People Power Solar Cooperative. 

The Community-Owned Renewable Energy Puzzle | 2017 | shares about many of the legal puzzles we've wrangled with over the years

Energy is Like WHOA | 2019 | grapples with what energy is and why we need energy democracy.

Community Renewable Energy Webinar | 2013 | In this video, the Law Center's expert panelists discuss the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating a new energy future.

Blog Posts

Below are some of our blog posts about our work to create energy democracy. For our latest blog posts, please click here.  

Unplugging Our Homes From Corporate Power | June 30, 2023

PG&E’s Profit Grab: At War Against the People| May 26, 2021

Are we thinking about climate change wrong? | January 25, 2020
Highlights from the Energy Justice Strategy and Policy Workshop
| December 16, 2019
People Power Solar Coop's First Community-Owned Solar Project... | March 25, 2019
People Powered East Bay - The Law Center Incubated Cooperatives Launch! | December 5, 2018
Building Grassroots-Led and Community Owned Energy Projects | November 14, 2018
3 Steps to Building Just Transition Now with a PCEC|
April 13, 2017
Piecing Together the Community Energy Puzzle | January 9, 2017 

In the News

Member-Owned Community Solar Poised for National Adoption | April 13, 2019 | CleanTechnica
The Green New Deal Means Power to the People | April 3, 2019 | The Progressive
Coalition applauds California's low-income rooftop solar investment | August 8, 2018 | Solar Power World

Model Legal Documents

We incubated the People Power Solar Cooperative and helped them draft these bylaws. We also helped develop a Site Host Agreement for the coop's first project, and here is a sample site host agreement based on that work. 

Awesomeness from Partners & Friends

Energy Justice Workbook & Webinar | Initiative for Energy Justice
Energy Democracy Scorecard & Flip Chart | Emerald Cities Collaborative, Anthony Giancatarino, and Donna House
Comprehensive Building Blocks for a Regenerative and Just 100% Policy | 100% Network
Policy Tools Supporting Energy Democracy through a Green New Deal | The Next System Project

Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: