Energy Democracy

Supporting local efforts to transition from an extractive and burdensome energy system to a renewable and collective one

ECC’s Energy Democracy work introduces communities and policy makers to the Energy Democracy framework and supports local efforts to transition from an extractive and burdensome energy system to a renewable and collective one.

As demand grows for public investments and comprehensive climate policies, shifting how our energy infrastructure is controlled, developed, and owned is vitally important. For communities that are marginalized and burdened by the current energy system, or that lack access to healthy energy systems, now is the time for this energy transition.

Our book, Energy Democracy: Advancing Equity in Clean Energy Solutions (by ECC President & CEO Denise Fairchild and Local Clean Energy Alliance Coordinator Al Weinrub), and its companion tools, the Energy Democracy Scorecard and Energy Democracy Flipbook, are being used by community stakeholders across the country to assess the state of their energy economy and adopt a more equitable and democratic approach to how local energy is sourced, distributed and operated. Throughout the year, ECC and its partners provide workshops, presentations, webinars and other programs to inform community stakeholders about the Energy Democracy (ED) movement and how they can become involved.

By centering and empowering local practitioners of energy democracy, ECC, along with the Energy Democracy Project, hosted a congressional briefing in April 2021 calling for sustainable energy policies that support energy as a human right, as well as the primacy of distributed energy/community renewables, public power and greater utility accountability as transformative solutions toward creating a clean energy future. ECC is continuing to build on this work by collaborating with local, regional and national partners to grow the ED movement across the nation.

Play Video

Denise Fairchild Explains Energy Democracy

Climate change advocates and social justice groups say that a global energy war is underway. It’s a struggle between an extractive economy and a regenerative economy, fossil fuel and clean energy—and even more fundamentally, between the haves and the have-nots.
Play Video

Energy Democracy Congressional Briefing April 20, 2021

As we transition to a clean energy future, the country has an unprecedented opportunity to democratize our energy systems to address a legacy of structural inequities related to their costs and benefits.

Program Sites



Bill McKibben
Author of Deep Economy
“There’s no topic on the planet more important right now than democratizing energy — that’s the precondition for the massive buildout of renewable energy that should be the chief occupation of a warming planet for decades to come.”

Manuel Pastor
Director, Program for Environmental & Regional Equity, University of Southern California
“Want to know how to address climate change, structural racism, and economic inequality at the same time? Start by reading this book. This is a critical read for those seeking to build a broader movement for economic equity, environmental justice, and planetary health.”

Angela Glover Blackwell
CEO, PolicyLink
“Energy Democracy is a call to action and a powerful tool for activists and grassroots leaders seeking to create a new energy paradigm that empowers our most vulnerable communities and fosters equitable, resilient economies.”

Gerry Hudson
Secretary-Treasurer, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
“From the Flint water crisis to calamities like Superstorm Sandy, it is becoming more evident that our nation must get serious about addressing environmental injustice. Energy Democracy advances a conversation about the climate crisis and deepening racial inequality at a time when these issues are in the forefront of our political landscape.”


For more information about our

Energy Democracy work,

contact: Adetola Shabi

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