Minnesota Housing's Fix Up Fund loans money for cost-saving weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades. See also links to all Minnesota utilities and their energy efficiency / renewable energy information and incentive programs, along with other grant/funding opportunities.
The Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network (MMAHEN) works to increase energy efficiency and conservation in multifamily buildings of five units or more in Minnesota by improving and expanding the use and equitable access of available resources. MMAHEN engages with renters, property owners, utilities, and other stakeholders to promote reliable data access and benchmarking, increased energy efficacy, identifying health impacts, and financing tools.
Challenge and assistance programs that cities may find useful include (1) the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation which challenges residents to make a pledge and take actions to conserve water, and (2) the federal Better Buildings Challenge to the multifamily residential sector, through which participating residential building owners and managers have committed to reduce energy consumption by at least 20 % over 10 years.
Attention to healthy home aspects - lead, radon, carbon monoxide, moisture/leaks, mold, dust and contaminants, pests, indoor smoke/poisons, and safety - is the specialty of the Sustainable Resources Center and it's Home Performance Solutions services available for hire by cities.
Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program, local bank, or others; promote utility load management programs (EV charging rates/programs, fuel-switching, AC/water heater cycling); program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; partner with others on low-interest loans, assistance to homeowners on weatherization, efficiency improvements; incentivize Home Energy Squad or other home energy audit program visits and residential efficiency improvements; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Participate in Xcel's Partners in Energy program; create a city program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, loans, grants, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Who's doing it
Delano - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Delano Municipal Utilities offers a conservation improvement program (CIP) to improve residential and commercial energy efficiency. The program promotes energy conservation by offering a number of conservation opportunities for property owners. First, the program establishes a rebate program for the replacement of certain appliances with those that achieve the Energy Star guidelines. Secondly, DMU distributes a number of LED light bulbs to residential property owners in the community, encouraging the use of higher-efficiency lighting technology.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
In 2010, DMU reported 08 Residential appliance rebates issued resulting in a reported deemed savings of 33,355 kilowatt hours (kwh). CIP funds allocated for these rebates totaled $11,368.
In 2011, DMU reported 52 Residential Appliance rebates issued resulting in a reported deemed savings of 8,410 kilowatt hours (kwh). CIP funds allocated for these rebates totaled $4,195. Also, in 2011, 940 CFL lamps were sent to low income renters, resulting in a deemed savings of 40,150 and $3,772.56 of CIP funds were used to implement the project.
In 2014, 72 participants took advantage of the residential appliance rebate program, resulting in $2710 in energy savings through this program.
"Cycled AC" - A program where the consumer is paid $45 each year to allow the utility to cycle their AC in the summer at times of peak demand. This kicks in during the hottest times of the year, thus preventing Elk River Utilites from having to activate its 10.3MW Peaking Station. The program is marketed via fliers and information in the utility newsletter.
"Wait Till 8" - A voluntary program that encourages citizens to postpone their use of major appliances until after 8pm. This is also marketed via fliers and information in the utility newsletter.
Golden Valley contracted with the Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE) to bring free remodeling advisor visits and the Home Energy Program to residents in 2009. Information was made available in the City’s newsletter and given directly to residents who inquired about financing options for remodeling projects. Information on the value of evaluating home energy use and ways residents can save energy have been included in past issues of the City newsletter. The City has also co-sponsored the West Metro Home Remodeling Fair for the past 24 years. The fair includes demonstrations on several topics, such as; how to lower energy costs through various home improvement projects.
Lake Crystal has introduced a monthly newsletter to be sent with utility bills focusing on energy conservation tips and education about available CIP rebates and programs. This year, we have also visited the schools and presented educational programs about energy usage and energy conservation. In December the city participated in an event in which we gave participants faucet aerators along with tips on winter energy conservation. We also held a drawing for a programmable thermostat and an energy conservation kit.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Each faucet aerator that is given away will save approximately 1,600 gallons of water a year. The programmable thermostat will save one customer up to $180 a year.
The GreenStep Committee is working with the MU to implement an Electric Load Management program. As of 4/21/15 there are 97 households signed up to participate. An open house on 2/22/15 will educate residents about the program. 200 households is the goal. Installation is set to begin in the summer of 2015.
In 2018, the City began an initiative to reduce urban water usage by optimizing private irrigation system efficiency. Irrigation audits were conducted at two homeowners associations to review system components (controllers, sprinkler heads, rain sensing technology), scheduling practices, and uniformity of water application. The audits provided the HOAs with a list of items that could be implemented to keep more water within local groundwater aquifers, reduce the potential for pollutants to enter local creeks and lakes, and save on annual irrigation costs.
Partners in Energy: Maplewood was the second city in the State to sign onto the Partners in Energy program in 2014. Partners in Energy is a two-year community support program sponsored by Xcel Energy. It offers communities the tools and resources necessary to develop and implement an Energy Action Plan that outlines short- and long-term energy goals.
The Maplewood City Council approved the City's Energy Action Plan in April 2015. The plan is called Energize Maplewood! A Community Action Plan Towards Carbon Neutrality. The plan outlines energy actions the City can achieve over the two-year period. Xcel Energy and the Center for Energy and Environment are assisting the City in the implementation of the energy actions.
The plan calls out two focus areas including energy education and outreach to residential and commercial. In 2015 the City has successfully launched two of the energy actions including a residential energy challenge. There are 12 teams of about 100 households participating in the challenge with the goal of being the "biggest energy loser." Challenge participants take energy actions such as having a Home Energy Squad visit, signing up for Windsource, and attending challange sponsored events. Xcel Energy is tracking the participant's energy use to determine the success of the energy actions. The challenge will end May 31, 2016, and the team with the most points (i.e., participated in the most energy actions and reduced their energy use) will win the $500 grand prize.
The other energy action the City has implemented is the Building Tune Up Program. The City is funding energy audits for seven local businesses, and helping fund the energy efficiency improvements outlined in the audit. The program was funded through a grant from the MPCA and implemented with assistance by Xcel Energy. The business energy use will be tracked three years prior and three years after the energy efficiency improvements to determine the success of the program. The businesses will be spotlighted for education and outreach to other businesses to make their own energy efficiency improvements.
Waste Wise/Energy Smart: The city promotes the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce programs - Waste Wise and Energy Smart to local businesses. WasteWise helps businesses analyze ways they can increase recycling and waste prevention efforts. Energy Smart is a consultation to look at energy consuming equipment to identify potential strategies for reducing energy use.
City has been working this past year on major initiative - Water Preservation Program or H2OPP that will officially roll out January 1, 2020. Conservation and Preservation of Municipal Water, Waste Water, and Storm Water. All three will have Enforcement, Education (Marketing) and Engineering. Specific to water will be a 30% increase on top tier for water usage, production of video on municipal water cost, use, and conservation. Development of infographics for conservation, and use of social media and web to market and promote conservation.
City is in process on $6.6 million upgrade to all 6 wells, three water treatment plants, and reservoir. Treatment plants receiving complete upgrade of all electronic controls with energy efficient products able to also maximize process thus use less chemical to treat.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Reduction in municipal water pumped and treated use as compared to last three years
Decrease energy consumption at wells and treatment plants
The city has partnered with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) since 2013 to offer discounted residential Home Energy Squad visits. As a part of these visits, CEE's team of consultants evaluate energy-saving opportunities and install energy-efficient materials in residential homes. The city pays for half of the $100 cost per visit. The city and CEE also offer a comprehensive array of financing and rehabilitation services, including Home Energy Loan Programs, Geothermal Financing, and Solar Financing. A Rental Energy Loan Program is also available to property owners who wish to make energy improvements to their rental properties.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
70 residents had home energy squad visits in 2013 and 54 had visits in 2014.
In the winter of 2015, Red Wing, Minnesota, began a six month process to evaluate how energy is used and sourced in the City, and to develop an Energy Action Plan to help the community work towards short- to mid-term energy goals based upon those findings. The process was facilitated through Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy offering for communities, and convened by Red Wing’s Sustainability Commission. Red Wing was the third Minnesota community to participate in Partners in Energy. On December 14, 2015, the Red Wing City Council approved supporting the Partners In Energy (PIE)Green Wing Action Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The PIE Action Team developed areas of focus and core strategies. A primary goal for the Action Plan is to increase energy efficiency adoption by residential households and small to midsized-commercial businesses. The residential focus area has a goal of adding an additional 10% or 700 households of Red Wing households to the city’s baseline participation, engage in an energy efficiency and/or renewable energy activity in the next two years. The commercial focus area has a similar goal to engage an additional 10% of Red Wing’s small to mid-sized businesses in an energy efficiency or renewable energy activity in the next three years, meaning 100 businesses above the city’s baseline participation.
The team members of PIE are currently devising outreach strategies to promote energy efficiency adoption by focusing on the promotion of home energy audits. The group has implemented several outreach strategies including: 1) through a utility billing flier, it offered discounts to Red Wing community members to have a Home Energy Audit conducted through the Xcel Energy program; 2) a business outreach campaign; and 3) a competition between community congregations to have members conduct energy efficiency action items. Final results will be available in June 2017.
The Home Energy Squad Enhanced Program has a marketing program that has included citywide mailings, utility bill inserts, information on the City website, citizen workshops, and door-to-door canvassing. Materials are also available in Spanish.
The City is collaborating with the utilities on the Home Energy Squad Enhanced (HESE) program, which offers homeowners a low-cost home energy visit along with the installation of the following energy-efficiency products: Programmable thermostat, weather stripping for two exterior doors, compact fluorescent lights, high-efficiency showerhead, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators. water heater temperature assessment, adjustment, and insulation, and refrigerator thermometer. The homeowner pays $50 for the visit and installation, while the City pays the remainder of the cost. At the end of the visit and installations, the homeowner is provided with a Home Energy Report that allows the homeowners to best prioritize their efficiency upgrades. Residents who install wall and/or attic insulation that qualifies for rebates from CenterPoint Energy can also apply for up to $200 in additional rebates from the City of Richfield. Both the HESE program and the City's rebate program began in March 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
603 HESE home visits have been requested and completed since the program started, which is over half of the number of visits budgeted by the program. 31 of the visits from 2016-2018 were with low income households. From 2013-2015, 14 households used the rebate program, totaling $1,400 in energy related home improvement rebates.
Rosemount Environment and Sustainability Taskforce along with Partners in Energy have ongoing campaigns. See 2019 article at https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_thisweek/free/rosemount-residents-can-save-energy-money/article_82b39974-d0e6-11e9-a3c6-3f8143b4514d.html
As part of the "Living Smarter program, Roseville has developed the "Green Modeling Plan Book." It has been sought out as a reference by several other cities around the country. Currently it is being updated and will be readily accessible on the web and in a format for easy printing. The city offers 200 residents energy audits with Xcel Energy per year.
The City of Royalton is participating in a pilot project with its utility provider, MN Power, in a Community Energy Challenge. The challenge is two part: Learn & Earn that works with the Royalton School District to help students learn about energy efficiency and get parents/neighbors/etc to do home energy audits, install more efficient lighting and at the same time earn money for their school. For each home energy audit completed, the school received $10. The program worked with our the Royalton Lumber and Hardware by having them carry LED bulbs, LED Christmas lights and keep track of the purchases. For every LED light purchased during that time, the school earned $2. It was a great success and the event involved the elementary as well as middle school/high school students.
The Community Energy Challenge also brought Franklin Energy into local businesses and non-profits to provide energy upgrades in the form of faucet aerators, bulb replacements, and devices that cut down on the energy used in small refrigeration units for local bars. The company completed 25 energy visits and 20 energy reports for the project.
We are in the final stage of the challenge and it involves getting all city departments (council/commissions/boards/non-profits/etc) to do what the students did. Our challenge will include picking up refrigerators that residents have replaced with new, more efficient models. We earn the same dollar amounts for the city for home energy audits completed and new LED bulbs purchased. At the end of the program we are working with the school to do a Green Fair to celebrate the event. The Green Fair will showcase the efforts of students/school and city departments (i.e. Tree Board).
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Learn and Earn has netted the school $1,000 to be used for field trips for elementary/middle/high school students.
The City was selected to participate in Xcel Energy's Partners in Energy Program. The Energy Action Plan was developed in 2016. A kickoff event is being planned for June 2017. This Energy Action Plan contains goals and strategies related to promoting energy efficiency for the residents of St. Cloud.
City continues to promote energy efficiency projects to residents is through its Energy Smart Homes Program. This program began in 2009 thanks to a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant the city received. In collaboration with Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC), the grant dollars were set up to be revolving loans made available to Saint Paul homeowners as a financing option for those residents who wanted to make energy efficient improvements to their homes. Improvements included furnace replacements, insulation, and air sealing. With a zero percent interest rate, these loans made it more affordable for residents to make sustainable improvements to their homes. The $550,000 federal grant resulted in improvements being made to 143 homes in Saint Paul and leveraged almost $200,000 in private investment.
In 2012, the City awarded a $250,000 Neighborhood STAR grant to NEC to expand the Energy Smart Homes program. To date, $130,000 in STAR funds have been loaned to thirty homeowners who invested $140,000 of their own money to make energy efficient improvements. Because Energy Smart Homes is a revolving loan program, the dollars loaned to homeowners will be paid back and loaned out again and again. In 2014, The City awarded another $250,000 Neighborhood STAR grant to NEC to continue the work.
The City also promotes the Neighborhood Energy Connection programs provided through Xcel Energy, including energy audits at a reduced price for Xcel customer.
The city of Saint Peter provides periodic newsletter/hotsheet educating and informing citizens about conserving water and energy reduction. Current update is also sent to residents via email and can also be seen on the city's website.
The City of Saint Peter requires all Electric Utility customers with newly installed or replacement central air conditioning, to participate in an "Electric Load Management" program. It is designed to reduce the costs to the utility and to the customer. By lowering peak demand for electricity during certain times of the day, typically during the summer months, the utility can save customers money by lowering the wholesale price of electricity bought by the utility. Controls are added to the residential air conditioning unit that allows the municipal electric utility the ability to turn the cooling unit on and off. A unit would typically be shut off for a fifteen minute period each hour. By rolling the shut off through the city, the peak energy consumption of the utility is "shaved" resulting in lower electrical rates to the consumer.
City of Shorewood is a Xcel Partners in Energy city. Through this program we are promoting and encouraging water and energy savings to residents and paying 50% of the first 25 home energy audits. We are also promoting WindSource and encouraging sign ups.
Save Water, Save Money
The City of Victoria is pleased to offer a rebate program for the purchase of water-efficient appliances as a means of promoting water conservation. Victoria residents are eligible for a rebate of up to $100 for the replacement of a clothes washer or dishwasher with the purchase of an ENERGY STAR® qualified water-efficient clothes washer or dishwasher and a rebate of up to $50 for the replacement of toilets, shower heads, and faucets with WaterSense labeled products.
Here's how the rebate process works:
Purchase an ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washer or dishwasher to replace a clothes washer or dishwasher or replace a fixture
Complete the application form and attach a copy of the receipt (the receipt must be dated for the current year and clearly identify the model purchased)
Submit the application form to the city for review and inspection
Rebate funds are limited. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. Applicants must be residential City of Victoria utility account customers. If approved, your rebate will be credited to your utility account.
For information on ENERGY STAR® appliances visit the ENERGY STAR® website.
Rebate forms and additional information about the rebate program is available at City Hall or you may contact Trisha Pollock by email or by calling 952-443-4216.
Through its Better Energy program, the city partnered with local energy utilities and nonprofits to help Apple Valley homeowners improve their homes by reducing their energy use and saving money at the same time. Free educational workshops teach Apple Valley homeowners how to lower their energy use and save money, participants can also sign up for home energy visits with direct installs of efficiency measures.
The City maintains an "Eco Living" page on its website that includes information on sustainable landscaping. Specific topics covered include best management practices for reducing water usage in seasonal yard care and landscaping design. The City partners with Ramsey County and the Center for Energy and Environment to provide energy loans to replace inefficient heating systems and upgrade home insulation. The Energy Conservation Deferred Loan program is promoted on the City's website.
The City through its relationship with Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) offers multiple rebates, including a rebate on qualifying in-home energy audits. As a part of these visits, a qualified, trained auditor evaluates energy-saving opportunities and installs energy-efficient materials in residential homes. The city offers a $115 rebate on a Basic Home Energy Audit and $150 for an Advanced/Infrared Home Energy Audit.
The City also provides information and educational items via its monthly newsletters regarding the future of sustainable energy, energy saving tips, and its relationship as a member of MMPA. (See attached copy of August 2014 newsletter)
(1) All customers of Austin Utilities receive a newsletter with their monthly utilitity bill. The newsletter features relevant energy saving tips as well as a rebate of the month. (2) In addition, Home Energy Reports (HER) are mailed bi-monthly. HERs deliver personalized information about energy usage in each home, and offer easy-to-follow tips that can quickly lead to energy savings. Customized at the household level, the reports likely offer the best energy-efficiency advice for our customers.
The City of Fridley's Housing and Redevelopment Authority offers Fridley residents subsidized Home Energy Squad Enhanced visits through the Center for Energy and the Environment. This program is promoted on the City's website, in newsletters, and during community events.
The outcomes are some what obvious. The hopes are a subtle shock and awe champaign. People will hopefully reduce their disposing of harmful products down the drain. Improved flushing habits reduces water pollution, levying pressure off the treatment plant to extract all pollutants. Everyone in a community plays an important role in protecting our natural resources, a vital one being water.
The City partners with CMPAS to offer a rebate incentive program for more energy efficient lighting, appliances, water heaters and more to encourage both businesses and residents to be more energy efficient.
Completed: Work with the Kasson Electric Utility and MN Energy Resources to promote Home Energy Audits (subsized by Kasson Electric and MN Energy Resources). Promote the free installation of load controllers for residents and small business (who have central air). Also, work with individual businesses and offer subsidies for energy-saving improvements. Promotion efforts are through the monthly city newsletter, a note in the mothly utility billing, Facebook, billboard outside of town, and working with local electricians to promote the business subsidies. In 2013, we are offering additional classes on rain gardens, electric and water conservation, and Winterization Tips for homeowners.
The City offers information to residents on energy audits, energy rebates. In 2013 The City has also been working with residents to reduce energy by providing an energy kit which offers a variety of ways to reduce energy. In January 2013 the City also hosted an energy efficiency workshop which reached 65 residents.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
65 Residents attended a January energy efficiency workshop.
The city was selected as a participant in the One-Stop Community Energy Services pilot program run by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE). Metro CERT was also a partner in the pilot program, assisting with the organization of and outreach for workshops. In the fall of 2008 the city held workshops where residents learned about energy efficiency and conservation opportunities at home, focusing on low and no-cost actions. Attendees received a number of free materials, including: compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, programmable thermostats, pipe wrap, faucet aerators, gasket seals, power strips, LED night lights, and LED holiday lights. They also had the opportunity to sign up for a home visit with CEEs energy consultants, during which they would do a walkthrough of the home and install energy-saving materials. 59 households in Oakdale signed up to participate in the pilot, which later grew into the broader Energy Efficient Cities program.
Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is required to meet a 1.5% reduction in energy sales each year. Residential customers account for approximately 15-20% of this requirement. RPUs annual outreach program to the residential customers includes the following:
" Bill inserts promoting, Conserve & Save®, RPUs conservation program and rebates.
" The Home Energy Report: The Home Energy Reports are a targeted direct mailing that is sent to residents of Rochester that provides specific recommendations and incentives that are proven to drive a reduction in energy consumption. The individualized Home Energy Reports show recipients:
" Energy use compared to carefully selected peers
" Individualized efficiency recommendations based on past usage data, demographics and housing characteristics of each household.
" Any other programs or city initiatives that that the city would like to promote
" Conserve & Save® Residential rebates include:
o Clothes Washers
o Refrigerators / Freezers
o Central and Room Air Conditioners
o CFL / LED fixtures and bulbs
o Air Source Heat Pumps
o Furnace Fan Motors
o Customer Efficiency
o Solar Installations
" RPU works closely with trade allies (e.g. Sears) by providing training and information on their conservation programs that they then can use as selling points for higher efficient equipment.
" Participate and promote conservation at public events such as the Rochester Area Builders Home Show and RPUs Arbor Day celebration.
For more information on RPUs Conserve & Save® programs visit www.rpu.org .
The City promotes the Neighborhood Energy Connection programs provided through Xcel Energy, including energy audits at a reduced price for Xcel customer, and the Home Energy Squad. Pamphlets and information sheets about these programs are available and on display at City Hall.
In Spring, 2013, the City hosted two residential energy use reduction and efficiency seminars for City employees. The first seminar presented information on energy reduction and efficiency programs available through Xcel Energy. The second seminar focused on how to read your residential utility bill.
City website provides links to residential energy use reduction and efficiency resources.
In 2011, the City completed its Rambler Revolution Demonstration Project. One aspect of the City’s Rambler Revolution Project, was to demonstrate to the public simple energy enhancements in a post-WWII rambler. The City held four open houses, where the public toured the home before, during, and after the improvements were made. Information about the project, and a section dedicated to Green Building Strategies is available online, on a website specifically for the project. http://www.ramblerrevolution.com/index.html. The City’s website provides a link to this website.
In 2012, Woodbury was asked by Xcel Energy to be a pilot city in its new Powering Your Community initiative. The goal of the program was to build on existing relationships with residents and businesses and to spread the word about Xcel’s energy conservation programs. The four-month program resulted in 70 visits by the Home Energy Squad. Over the entire year, 320 Woodbury homeowners participated in the program and saved enough electricity and gas to supply 55 homes with a year’s worth of energy.
The city also utilizes the sustainability web pages, the Green Times newsletter, and the city’s InTouch email notification system to educate citizens on energy efficiency and conservation throughout the year.
Brainerd Public Utilities has Implemented a subsidized residential energy audit, in which they offer $25 basic energy audits to all electricity customers, and a $100 energy audit with a blower door and IR test for customers who heat with electricity.
The City provides residents a quarterly newsletter with City updates, including information about conserving water, summer watering bans and details about water billing rates based on consumption. The annual Green Expo events provides residents information about various topics. In the past, a speaker from Coon Creek Watershed District has presented information related to water conservation and water quality. City staff works to communicate with residents about the importance of water conservation and how restrictions change seasonally.
The Grand Marais Public Utility Commission (GMPUC, the municipal electric utility) runs REEP – Residential Energy Efficiency Program. The utility offers rebates for energy efficient appliances, provides audits for a discounted price, and the price of audit counts towards work to implement measures. The program includes home performance energy efficiency audits for residential homes and small commercial businesses. The non-profit Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) promotes the program. The joint County/City Economic Development Authority (EDA) is funding REEP in 2015.
To promote residential energy and water use reduction and energy efficiency, the City of Inver Grove Heights shares residential assistance and rebate programs on the City’s website. This information directs residents to various resources including rebate and reward programs provided by utility providers, Energy Smart appliance rebate opportunities, and energy and cost savings calculators developed by Energy Smart and the U.S. Department of Energy. The City also shares water conservation strategies on an annual basis in the Insights Newsletter, the Annual Water Quality Report and on the City's website.
The City provides education in its quarterly newsletter with City updates, including information on conserving water, summer watering odd-even schedules and information about water rates. Information is also sent to residents with water taps and the importance of water conservation is on the City website.
Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) administers Ramsey County's Energy Conservation Deferred Loan Program. Qualified applicants may receive up to $6,500 in the form of forgivable loans. The City actively promotes the program through its newsletter, website, and cable access channel.
Marshall Municipal Utilities markets it's energy efficiency programs and conservation through a number of different resources, including radio advertisement, newspaper, bill stuffers, open houses, and mailings. Conservation efforts are monitored and savings tracked. Marketing efforts are tailored to the appropriate season and adjusted as needed to capture new technologies and oportunities. Trade allies also help promote conservation efforts.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Conservation efforts are monitored and savings tracked. Marketing efforts are tailored to the appropriate season and adjusted as needed to capture new technologies and oportunities. Trade allies also help promote conservation efforts. Marshall Municipal Utilities (MMU), in conjunction with Missouri River Energy Services, offered a $35 rebate to customers willing to part with their old inefficient, underutilized, refrigerator or freezer that may have been driving up their energy bills. The primary objective of the program is to help our customers remove their under-utilized, inefficient appliances
off the grid and ensure they are properly recycled. MMU was able to eliminate approximately 36 inefficient appliances off of their system for an estimated annual
savings of 27,100 kilowatt hours (kWhs).
Since the inception of this program in 2010, 251 appliances have been recycled for a savings of 183,535 kWhs. The program will be offered again in the Spring of 2013
The city offers energy efficiently and water conservation workshops available to all residents and business owners throughout the year. In addition, the city routinely publishes information regarding water conservation and energy efficiency in the city’s monthly newsletter. The Minnetonka Memo is delivered to very address within the city; equating to over 26,000 households. Readership among residents is over 90 percent. In addition to the Minnetonka Memo, the city’s website offers resources and conservation tips for residents. Including information on the “green” home constructed within the city through a partnership between Hennepin County Technical College; the non-profit Neighborhood Energy Connection and the City of Minnetonka. The home construction focused on a sustainable design both within the home and outside the home. Some of the interior features include high-performance insulation and windows; off-peak utilities; low-flow toilets and showers etc. External sustainable features include rain barrels; permeable pavers; and native drought-tolerant landscaping. Sustainability was even carried out through the construction process. Efficient framing methods allowed for a reduction of waste and of the waste produced, more than 70 percent was recycled.
The Bright Ideas e-newsletter offers energy-saving tips, hints, and other timely information about energy efficiency. The free Bright Ideas e-newsletter is distributed monthly. Bright Ideas includes:
• eNewsletter – An email newsletter filled with energy saving tips and tools covering topics such as low-cost or no-cost ways to reduce home energy use and the latest in energy technologies and green initiatives.
• eLibrary – Keyword search hundreds of articles and resources on topics ranging from energy efficiency and green power, to the latest in emerging technologies.
• Tools – Home energy audit tools, along with HVAC and appliance calculators to assess your home’s energy use and identify energy saving opportunities.
Neighborhood Impact Program
The Neighborhood Impact Program encourages the preservation of the City’s existing housing stock. The program, via a partnership between the City of Moorhead and Gate City Bank, offers low-interest loans and technical assistance to homeowners for major home improvements, including weatherization and energy efficiency improvements.
For households use electricity as the primary heating source, the dual-fuel program is offered. Dual-Fuel customers use electricity as the primary source of heat. Propane, oil, natural gas, or storage heat can be used as the back-up heat source. Each dual-fuel customer is furnished with a radio receiver. With the receiver, MPS can switch the home from electric heat to back-up sources during peak periods when demand for electricity is highest. Dual-fuel customers save 50% off the regular retail rate on all of the electricity that the electric heating system uses. MPS also offers low interest loans and rebates to qualifying residential dual-fuel customers to help finance upgrades heating systems.
Thrifty Watts is a residential load management program offered by the municipal utility. Thrifty Watts allows Moorhead Public Service to cycle the central air conditioner and electric water heater on and off during periods of high electric usage in return for a credit applied to the monthly utility bill. There is no cost and property owners do not need to supply or purchase special equipment. By allowing a cycle of approximately 12 minutes on/ 12 minutes off during peak energy usage times, utility bills are credited $9/month during summer months (June, July, and August). For an additional credit of $3/month year-round, MPS will turn off electric water heaters for up to 4 hours/control period. Last year, the Thrifty Watts Program was fully subscribed.
The City has placed several resources on the City's website for residents and property owners on how to be sustainable. Information ranges from the Minnesota Energy Challenge to the U.S. Green Building Council.
Comfort Systems (CS), the city run utility provider, has basic energy and water saving tips on their website. CS offers free basic in-home energy assessments in partnership with the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program (DEEP). Rebates of up to $250 are also available for homeowners who get a more in depth energy analysis of their home's energy consumption. Following an analysis residents can apply for fixed rate loans to finance energy improvements in their homes as long as the improvements will pay back in 20 years or less. $200 rebates are available on boiler and furnace improvements.
For low income and high risk homeowners who may not qualify for assistance, DEEP provides free weatherization services through the Giving Comfort @ Home program.
Grants are available to businesses and rental properties to help offset the cost of efficiency upgrades, and rentals with low income tenants can qualify for additional grants through the Rental Energy Upgrade Pilot Program.