Fri, 06/14/2013 - 9:52am
Food service businesses—mostly restaurants and grocery stores—use 2.5 times more energy than the average commercial business. Think about it: all the stoves, ovens, heat lamps, dish washers, refrigerators, and fryers turning out meal after meal. It makes sense that they are energy intensive. Kitchens are also hectic places where energy wasters often get ignored amid hustle and bustle.
Stay tuned to learn more about recent projects at food service businesses in Minnesota that sought to start saving energy and money, and the resources that helped them complete these projects such as the Food Service Energy Leadership Program and the Minneapolis Energy Efficiency Business Loan and Grant Program. For more information on reducing energy consumption in small businesses and food services, see the Small Business Energy Reduction Guide...
Thu, 06/13/2013 - 2:43pm
Honeywell has announced that it will be launching a city-controlled thermostat system to be used in homes. When a city’s energy demand spikes, the municipalities will enable an energy-reducing strategy with an automated demand response (ADR) to the participating homes.
In summer months, the use of air conditioning systems not only demands a large wattage per unit, but also causes sudden spikes in electricity demands—mainly due to the units cycling on and off. On especially hot days, the combined surge in city AC usage drastically increases the risk of blackouts.
The collective control of thermostats will, in theory, help to avoid brownouts and blackouts on the hottest days of the year when the power-grid stability is threatened. The Honeywell Total Connect Comfort with ADR thermostat is controlled via Wi-Fi and will be first available to the city of South Sioux City,...
Wed, 06/12/2013 - 12:04pm
On June 5th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the regional 2012 President’s Environmental Youth Award to members of an environmental club at Mahtomedi High School for its Zephyr Wind Project. The President’s Environmental Youth Award program is an annual contest sponsored by the EPA to honor 10 winners across the nation for their creative environmental projects developed and implemented by K-12 students.
The award is not only a huge honor for the club and Minnesota, but is also only the second time in the program’s 11 year history that winners have come from Minnesota. Of the 2012 winners, the Zephyr Wind Project was the only one to come from the Great Lakes Region.
Mahtomedi’s winning Eco club raised $100,000 to build a 10-kilowatt wind turbine next to the school’s football field to power the stadium lights, scoreboard and...
Tue, 06/11/2013 - 3:15pm
Are you interested in doing your own wind project? Let the Clean Energy Project Builder and CERTs help you get started with 4 steps!
Step 1: Do your research! Knowing information about wind (what it is, how it works, how to get it) is a key component in your project’s success. Lucky for you, we have already done the hard part! Follow the link to see a list of helpful wind studies.
Step 2: Site assessment. It is important to be familiar with both the purpose of your wind project, and site specific details before moving into the implementation and financing of a project. Here you will find some tools to help assess your site in order to understand its unique potential in conjunction with your...
Thu, 06/06/2013 - 11:27am
Are you interested in doing your own solar project? Let the Clean Energy Project Builder and CERTs help you get started with 4 steps!
Step 1: Do your research! Knowing information about solar (what it is, how it works, how to get it) is a key component in your project’s success. Lucky for you, we have already done the hard part! Follow the link to see a list of helpful solar studies.
Step 2: Site assessment. It is important to be familiar with both the purpose of your solar project, and site specific details before moving into the implementation and financing of a project. Here you will find some tools to help assess your site in order to understand its unique potential in conjunction with your...
Sun, 06/02/2013 - 2:47pm
Recently, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Sports Greening Project ranked the top 7 energy-efficient baseball stadiums in the MLB. Our hometown hero, the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field, came in second place with the Miami Marlins’ Marlins Park snatching the first place position.
Among other strong points, Target Field is the only ballpark with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications in both construction and operations. Upgrades made in 2011 to equipment, lighting and HVAC systems reduced electricity use by more than 12 percent. Other energy efficient features include low-flow urinals, dual-flush toilets, aerated faucets, a rain recycle system that saves water, high-efficiency lighting, and a range of energy-conservation behaviors. A slightly less obvious way that Target Field is energy efficient is its prime location. The stadium is a...
Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:42am
Do It Green! Minnesota is an all volunteer, non-profit organization with a mission to educate and motivate Minnesotans to live sustainably and to build healthy communities. They achieve this through publishing a comprehensive web site, printed green living guidebook called Do It Green! Magazine, green business directory called Do It Green! Directory, hands-on workshops, their annual Green Gifts Fair and Earth Day Celebration events, and offering a public Resource Center inside the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.
The organization is currently looking to fill four positions. The positions require a minimum commitment of one year, are unpaid positions (unless noted), and are available on a flexible schedule. Do It Green! positions require a commitment and genuine interest in sustainable living and in turn provide a complete hands-on experience.
Positions available are:...
Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:37pm
On some level, everyone is connected to agriculture. That simple fact is at the heart of KSMQ’s local series, Farm Connections, now in its fifth season. Joel Haskard and Fritz Ebinger with the Clean Energy Resource Teams joined Farm Connections host Dan Hoffman and other guests to highlight energy efficiency innovations and opportunities on Minnesota farms.
The episode begins on the Northfield, MN farm of John Zimmerman and his family. The Zimmermans primarily raise turkeys, and John is the president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. John, Dan, and Joel discuss energy-saving steps that have been taken on the Zimmerman farm and how those changes are helping to reduce the impact of energy costs on their bottom line.
After that, Shannon Jerabek with McLeod Cooperative Power...
Tue, 05/28/2013 - 3:13pm
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge is helping university campuses across the nation to become more energy and resource-efficient. The program works with universities to set aside money for a Green Revolving Fund. Student leaders from the university will then submit project proposals to help improve the campus in a green way. The main idea of the program is that the projects will create savings for the university that will then be put back into the fund for more projects in the future.
In a webinar hosted by The Billion Dollar Green Challenge and Focus the Nation, Emily Flynn, Manager of Special Projects at Sustainable Endowment Institute displayed the below image to demonstrate the concept:
Flynn went on to explain the benefits of revolving funds in terms...
Tue, 05/28/2013 - 1:54pm
Building recommissioning projects are intensive in nature, aiming to focus efficiency efforts on the entirety of a building with the goal of significantly reducing its energy load, energy costs, and its need for maintenance procedures, while increasing the comfort of the facility, its efficiency, and sometimes even its usability. Building recommissioning studies are often needed to ensure that energy systems are in good working order after a building has been in use for several years.
Over time systems tend to work more inefficiently due to deferred maintenance. Recommissioning studies seek to restore the most efficient operating performance of the building, identifying low- and no-cost measures to remedy these deficiencies. Steps taken during a recommissioning study include the following:
Measure systems’ performance and verify that they are in good working order.