Energy ScoreCards and WEGO Wise are online energy and water benchmarking and management tools recommended by the Minnesota Community Action Partnership for use on multi-family rental buildings, as they are the easiest for owners and managers without energy manager training to use.
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 promotes greater access to building data related to energy efficacy and promote energy benchmarking.
Local utility programs include building energy reports, rebate programs for purchasing/upgrading to more efficient appliances, bonus rebates for using qualified installers, and commercial design assistance. See, for example, Austin Energy, the nation's 9th largest community-owned electric utility.
Net zero water is an analogous concept to net zero energy for buildings. Through a combination of rainfall harvesting, aggressive conservation, and water recycling, buildings can achieve self-sufficiency from the water "grid."
List of green building frameworks, which include codes, standards, rating systems with certification and guidelines with verification.
Identify examples including building lighting upgrades (including exit lights, lighting equipment and controls), EV charging stations, and other building/operational improvements in energy and water use and wastewater reduction. Report renewable energy installations under action 26.6
Identify businesses, educational and non-profit organizations using a green building framework such as LEED to build, operate and maintain their buildings and operations, or businesses currently using Energy Star's Portfolio Manager or similar energy-tracking software.
Identify examples of extensive daylighting or electrochromic window glass and consequent energy/cost savings, installation of a greywater system, or similar innovative improvements.
Who's doing it
Austin - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
a) Hormel Foods Corp. retrofit of lighting systems at Corporate Office North and Corporate Office South facilities to high efficiency T8 and LED and partnered with Austin Utilities on rebates for T12 replacement. Implemented water reduction measures at both facilities as well.
b) Hormel Foods Corp. has benchmarked the Corporate Office North and Corporate Office South facilities in EPA Energy Star's Portfolio Manager. The R&D facility is in progress.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Hormel Foods corporate office north addition of 28,000 square feet received LEED Gold Certification, including credits in the areas of IEQc6.1 & IEQc6.2 for multi level lighting control and daylight harvesting, as well as credits in the areas of WEc2 & WEc3 for Water Reductions and Innovative Wastewater Technologies including a rainwater collection system, sub-soil drainage, dual-flush water closets, low flush urinals, low-flow lavatories, low-flow showers, and low-flow kitchen sinks.
Luekens Village Grocery store built and has begun selling produce from a large scale aquaponics greenhouse. Please see news story and radio broadcast for details: http://www.lptv.org/luekens-village-foods-goes-green-with-aquaponics-garden/
Harmony Food Coop in partnership with CERT installed the first solar awning array in the city of Bemidji. Please see Bemidji Pioneer Article for details.
3 commercial buildings in Cottage Grove have been labeled EnergySTAR as a result of documenting their engery use. Target in 2010, Cub Foods in 2004 & 2008, and Kohl's in 2008, whos commercial building was also LEED registered in 2009.
In the new Public Safety/City Hall building in Cottage Grove, all lighting have daylighting sensors and in the council chambers, SageGlass was installed on all windows letting sunlight in on cool days, blocking it out on hot days while reducing energy consumption.
The City of Fridley promotes energy/water efficiency to our business community within our quarterly business e-newsletter. Through the newsletter the City has advertised the Minnesota Material Exchange and the MnTAP internship program. The City also promoted the MnTAP program through mailings to our manufacturing community and top-10 water users.
Eco Finishing, a Fridley-based plating company, implemented recommendations from a 2015 MnTAP intern which saved the company over 1,000,000 gallons of water per year and 80,000 therms.
Murphy's Warehouse, a long-standing Fridley business, has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives at its two campuses in the City. In 2015 these locations were the first two warehouses in the country to re-certify under LEED (Gold) for Existing Buildings: Operations + Maintenance rating system. The Murphy's Warehouse campuses are known for their extensive use of native prairie landscaping in place of turf grass.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Within the two Murphy's Warehouse locations in Fridley, there are 6.0-acres of native prairie and 4.2-acres of cut lawn. Murphy's Warehouse saves an estimated $26,762 in annual maintenance costs by maintaining the 6.0-acres as native prairie as a result of decreased water and fertilizer usage.
Country Kitchen restaurant completed a LED lighting retrofit in 2015. Honest-1 Auto Care, which opened in 2012, is 100% ESA Certified Eco-Friendly and practices a number of eco-friendly initiatives including strict recycling of automotive materials, pollution prevention and the use of branded fluids that are safe for the environment. The Food Group donates land for a community farmer's garden.
The Now Mart car wash, located at 7201 Bass Lake Road, utilizes a stormwater collection system that retains all rainwater on-site and re-uses it for the car wash. A filtration system recycles and reuses the water that is used by car wash. It is the first known car wash in the country to utilize such technology.
There are several energy efficiency actions and green building practices in the city of Saint Paul. Examples include:
• All buildings required to follow the Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy (www.stpaul.gov/sustainablebuildingpolicy)
• District Energy St. Paul (http://www.districtenergy.com/environment/)
• LEED certified buildings in Saint Paul such as: Karges-Faulconbridge Office Building, Spruce Tree Centre, The Wilder Center, Macalester Institute for Global Citizenship (Platinum), Park Midway Bank, United Family Practice Health Center (http://greenbuildingwire.com/LEED-certified-building-MN)
• St. Paul RiverCentre which has a solar hot water system (http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/sustainability)
• Science Museum, which has solar installations and a heat-recovery system (http://www.smm.org/sciencehouse/about)
• J&J Distributing (http://www.jjdst.com/produce/)
• Garden Fresh Farms (http://gardenfreshfarms.com/)
And many more.
Through the Better Energy program, the city has partnered with local energy utilities and the Chamber of Commerce to encourage commercial energy saving opportunities. According to EnergySTAR, both Kohls and Cub Foods in Apple Valley have documented their energy use and received an EnergySTAR label for their buildings.
The University of MN, Duluth campus has decreased water use across campus by 30% in the last 11 years while increasing square footage by 15%. In the residents halls this has been done by replacing roughly 240 high consumption toilets with low flow models, installing sensor faucets with low flow aerators, and installing low flow shower heads. A new irrigation installed on the sports field will contribute to water savings. UMD has been investing in solar power, and between their solar arrays and purchases from community solar gardens received 244.82 MWH in 2018. While only .6% of their total energy consumption, it is a significant increase from 2009 when they received only 6.22 MHW, or .01%, of their energy from solar. An additional 100kW of community solar are going to be added soon.
Lake Superior Community College has reduced their energy consumption by 11% and water by 57% since 2009 while simultaneously increasing their psychical footprint by 10%. Energy reductions have been made by facilities upgrades including light retrofits, the installation of automatic controls, and parking lot lighting upgrades. Stormwater management has also been a priority for LSC and they have installed 3 rain gardens, an underground stormwater retention system, and numerous bioswales over the last 15 years.
There are five buildings in Eagan that are LEED Certified: Eagan Place Professional Building (silver), Lebanon Hills Visitor Center (silver), Lockheed Martin (silver), Allan L. Schuman Corp. Campus Ecolab (gold); and the USPS Bulk Mail Facility (silver)
Liberty Property Trust Developed the first speculative, office building designed to achieve LEED certification in the Twin Cities region, 7625 Smetana Lane, Eden Prairie, MN which earned Gold certification
Energy Star Buildings
There are 10 Energy Star rated privately owned buildings in Eden Prairie.
The new Co-op building was built to a Green Building standard (although it was not 3rd-party certified, it is in the process of getting Energy Star certified). The GMPUC provided a number of rebates for the construction. The Co-op manager described the building:
The new Co-op building was built with energy efficiency in mind. The building envelope exceeds the state requirements. The roof is a continuous average R40 with 10” of polyisco foam at the roof edges (the state requires R23 roof insulation on commercial building in a northern climate). There is 4” of Styrofoam below the interior slab. The ICF exterior walls have continuous R25 insulation (the state require R9.3 wall insulation on commercial building in a northern climate). The Co-op installed triple glazed windows and took additional steps such as using local wood and water based stains to ensure limited impact on our environment. They chose energy efficient lighting throughout the store. LED lighting is in all of our refrigeration and outdoor lighting. We used lower wattage fluorescent tubes throughout the store. The store has dual flush EPA WaterSense certified toilets and installed low flow sprayers on the three compartment sinks. The refrigeration is energy star certified, and they opted to install a rack system versus individual compressors to save energy and to allow the reuse of excess heat from the refrigeration to heat water and help heat the building.
There are currently seven buildings in Maple Grove that are LEED Certified: Starbucks Maple Grove-Dunkirk Square, Kohl’s Maple Grove, Xcel Energy-Fleet Services Building (silver), Boston Scientific WL3 Expansion (silver), Boston Scientific Weaver Lake Campus, Fairview Bass Lake Clinic, and Great River Energy (platinum). There is also one building in Maple Grove that is in the process of becoming LEED certified: Arbor Lakes Senior Living Community. In addition, the Maple Grove Library was designed in accordance with the Buildings, Benchmarks, and Beyond (B3): State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines and is a LEED Gold Compliant building.
Maplewood also encourages local businesses to participate in Xcel Energy's Community Energy Efficient Sweeps to reduce their business's energy consumption and energy savings.
The new ICC700 Green Building code also have incentives built into the policy language to promote green building in the private sector.
Ryan companies has a low-rise multi family development in the city of Maplewood that is LEEDs gold rated.
The city, in collaboration with the Food Service Energy Leadership Program (housed at Eureka Recycling), applied and received a competitively selected Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) through the Department of Energy and administered by the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources. This grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), allowed the city to provide technical assistance for energy efficiency among its restaurant community.
The program worked with 20 restaurants in the White Bear Lake area over a two year period. An initial energy assessment was completed by the technical team and a report produced with identified opportunities (focusing mostly on low-cost options). Throughout the course of two years of collaboration with these businesses, energy use was tracked and reported back to the businesses on a six month basis, and assistance was offered with larger retrofit projects, such as an HVACunit replacement, a new ice machine purchase, or a retrofit on the exhaust hood.
Overall, most businesses had 10-15 percent potential energy savings identified based on the initial walkthrough. The implementation of energy saving measures was left to the business, but on the whole recommendations were implemented. Over the two year period, the average energy savings in participating restaurants was 5.8 percent. These savings varied greatly depending on length of time in the program and ability to commit time, attention and money to making improvements.
By way of communicating the variety of actions participants took, and the variety of successes businesses had, this case study will briefly highlight the efforts of three White Bear Lake restaurants. More ideas, tips, case studies, and resources can be found at food.mncerts.org.
The Hanger Room
Getting started with energy efficiency needn’t be costly. Every business has opportunities for improved maintenance, repair, and changes in behaviors which cost nothing or almost nothing and save energy. The Hanger Room provides a great example of how simply paying attention to equipment and energy use can make great strides toward becoming more efficient.
Co-owners, Nick Miller and Peter Martinson chose a former bowling alley as the site for a new high-end restaurant. When considering the location, they looked into the energy use of the bowling alley. However, once they had added a larger commercial kitchen, complete with lots of equipment and a full wall of exhaust hoods, plus some additional refrigeration space, their energy use was different. According to Martinson, “Energy use in this building was a big surprise. We looked at the bowling alley’s energy use before buying the building, but our use is much higher.”
The owners needed to find a way to reduce energy costs without spending more money on new equipment or controls (a common situation for owners of new restaurants). Luckily, there were excellent opportunities to reduce their energy use that didn’t cost a penny.
Miller and Martinson set their programmable thermostats setbacks more aggressively, not only for occupied and unoccupied, but also for busy and slow times in the restaurant, zoning off areas that didn’t need to be heated or cooled until the dinner rush.
The other big saving action they took was to reduce exhaust hood runtime in the kitchen. Together with the head chef they implemented a plan where only one hood runs on slow days, and even then only when there is equipment beneath it running. Staff leadership has been important to the success of this strategy. Martinson says, “The chef has been the leader in the kitchen, working to keep equipment off until it’s needed. If we’re really slow, we don’t need extra equipment on. Sometimes two cooks will just share a stove.”
For a new restaurant establishing a baseline to compare energy savings is difficult. But Martinson and Miller are certain the small changes they have made are saving them money each month.
Dellwood Hills, an area golf course and restaurant, was enthusiastic to reduce monthly expenses by saving energy. Like most country clubs, the economic recession of 2008 left the club extra conscious of the need to run efficiently.
Ken Galloway, the General Manager of Dellwood Hills, was pleased to get some new ideas and support from the city energy efficiency program. “We’ve always tried to work efficiently and take advantage of programs and technology; but it’s so much more helpful and easier to embrace when you can get assistance from qualified people.”
Dellwood Hills will be retrofitting all of their inefficient T12 lighting to more efficient fluorescent lamps. Their timing coincides with Xcel Energy offering additional rebates because of the federal legislation phasing out T12 lighting. The lighting retrofit at Dellwood Hills will save the business over $7,700 per year, resulting in a project payback of less than one year. This project qualified for a rebate from Xcel Energy of almost $6,000, nearly 50% of the project cost.
In addition to lighting retrofits, Galloway has been talking to his staff about how they can help reduce energy use in various aspects of their job. Galloway suggests, “The key is to make energy savings real for them.” For instance, helping employees identify that leaving a door open wastes energy is more useful than telling them to “save energy.”
Sam Thai Cuisine
Little restaurants can save energy too. Sam Thai Cuisine, a tiny restaurant in a strip mall in White Bear Lake, doesn’t use a lot of energy to begin with, but after participating in the program they are more aware of energy use and have taken action to be even more efficient.
Sombat “Sam” Supunniam owns Sam Thai Cuisine, where he serves as head cook, dishwasher, repairman, cashier and friendly greeter. Despite using much less energy overall than the average restaurant, Supunniam still found ways to further reduce his energy usage.
Replacing gaskets, shutting off equipment and adjusting the thermostats were easy changes. Installing motion detectors on the bathroom lights made sense, since the bathrooms were infrequently used during the day. Supunniam appreciated the technical support, he said, “based on the auditor’s recommendation we realized the right direction to be working. We wanted to save energy because it’s the right thing to do, but for my small restaurant saving money is the most important.”
In fact, running such a small place allows Supunniam to arrange some creative agreements with contractors. “One of my customers said he could fix my lights, and I said that if he did, I would pay him in free lunches,” said Supunniam describing his arrangement that allowed him to retrofit old T12 lighting.
Five solar arrays have been installed on Woodbury commercial businesses, totaling 161 kW. There are four privately owned Energy Star buildings in Woodbury, in addition to a school and Woodbury City Hall. The buildings include: Goodwill, Target T0694, The Hartford, Kohls Department Store, Crosswinds School and City Hall.
The Washington County Environmental Center has a rainwater reclamation system for irrigation.
Energy efficiency rebates from St. Peter Municipal Utilities to the state hospital are saving over $150,000/yr., reducing annual electric consumption by over 1.5 million kwh - or enough to power 211 average-sized homes annually.