Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:

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Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:

Best Practice of this action
Rating Guideline
1 star Report methods used, such as information included in a city newsletter and on the city website, and active ongoing promotion (twice or more per year) at city events, through city loan programs and the like. For green power purchasing through a municipal utility, report total kWh per year subscribed along with the number of participating households.
2 star

Partner with utility and local organization/community groups to promote this information (at least quarterly) through city utility bill inserts, workshops, community education courses, local lectures, facilitated group purchases, etc. Provide translators and interpreters, childcare, stipends, and/or meals for residents during community engagement/education meetings.

3 star

Describe how the city supported a bulk-buy program of renewable energy (for residents, city employees, or employees of a business); be recognized as an EPA Green Power Community, or report installed capacity as a result of a city-supported program or campaign.

  • The Solar Directory (MN Clean Energy Resource Teams) is a tool to find clean energy installers or solar gardens available in your area.
  • Wondering if a particular site in Minnesota is good for solar energy? The MN Solar App lets you enter an address to see a site's solar potential.
  • See campaign materials to assist citizens in purchasing green power.
  • Minnesota electrical utilities, while no longer required to offer their customers the opportunity to purchase renewably generated electricity, often do offer this option. The renewable generation capacity created by a customer (city, business, resident) under these "green pricing" programs is above and beyond other laws requiring utilities to produce target amounts of renewable energy. See a list of all buy green power utility programs in Minnesota.
  • A city can facilitate the bulk buying power of residents, city employees and employees of a large business to allow for discounts on home renewable systems. Two different organizations work with Minnesota communities to provide these sorts of programs: The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) provides information about Solar Group Buys; Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota provides information about solar co-ops and bulk buys.
  • Solar can also provide long-term financial relief to families struggling with high and unpredictable energy costs, living-wage jobs, and a source of clean, local energy sited in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by traditional power generation. See the Low-income Solar Policy Guide description for Community Purchase Programs, also known as group buys, bulk-buys or solarize programs, for guidance. 
  • Read about Solarize Kingfield in Minneapolis, a neighborhood group-led project of 2012 that organizes bulk-buying/installation of renewables for businesses and homeowners, resulting in lower per unit costs.
  • Find local, state and federal financial resources and incentives from the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

a. Promoting a local utility's green power purchasing program that allows residents/businesses to order/buy new renewable energy.
b. Creating and sharing a map of the community’s solar resource and/or linking to the Minnesota Solar Suitability App.
c. Connecting residents/businesses with the Solar Directory for potential installers.
d. Hosting a community-wide solar bulk-buy program or campaign (also called "solarize" programs). 

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