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Participating in Your Energy Democracy

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 12:45pm -- Chelsea Chandler

In the wake of the midterm elections, there has been much discussion about how to most effectively make your voice heard in our democracy. As citizens, many of us feel obliged to participate in an electoral system. Yet there is another important system in which we often participate very little: our electricity system. The ways in which we generate and distribute electricity affects our land, air, and waters, even our health, yet many of us don’t know about the variety of ways that we can influence decisions made surrounding how we use—or don’t use—clean energy.

Recently at the Wisconsin Academy, we have been working to shed light on the sometimes opaque world of electricity decision-making in Wisconsin, and we’ve highlighted a few areas where the public can get involved. If you’ve switched out your lights from incandescent to LEDs, but aren’t sure what to do next, we hope you’ll explore some of the other actions we outline inFinding Your Role in Our Energy Democracy,” a recent article from our Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine, and our new interactive website in which we explore various roles for citizens who want their voices heard in our energy democracy. From outlining the process for filing comments with the Public Service Commission and working with the Citizens Utility Board, to ways to participate in local sustainability committees and contact electric utilities and elected officials, there’s a productive role for everyone to play.

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Chelsea Chandler is the director of the Academy's Environmental Initiatives. She leads the Climate & Energy and Waters of Wisconsin Initiatives, to which she brings her interdisciplinary experience and passion for researching and communicating solutions to environmental challenges.

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