Wed, 01/16/2013 - 7:34pm
The GreenStep Cities program begins 2013 by announcing the 50th city to join the program.
At the end of December, the Maple Grove City Council approved a resolution for the city to take part in this voluntary program of the League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), among others.
“Since the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program was officially launched in June 2010, cities from all over the state and of varying sizes have decided to take advantage of the free assistance program,” said Philipp Muessig, GreenStep Cities Coordinator, MPCA.
Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. This free...
Thu, 01/10/2013 - 9:23pm
The 5th Statewide CERTs Conference – Community-Driven Clean Energy – is coming up on February 20-21, 2013 in Saint Cloud, and more than ever before it will be focused on conversations and action.
You should return home with connections, project ideas, and even collaborators who live and work in your part of the state. The conference will culminate in Regional Sessions that allow you to do just that ( see how they fit into the full agenda ). Because it’s the first time we’ve done something like this, we wanted to fill you in more about exactly what the Regional Sessions hold in store.
What are the goals of the Regional Sessions?
The ultimate goal of the CERTs Conference Regional Sessions is to identify five energy efficiency or renewable energy projects that can be...
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 4:46pm
Pre-Rinse Spray Valves – The EPA loves ‘em, CERTs loves ‘em, and you can too with our Water Saving Bulk Buy Program!
Since we are so excited about pre-rinse spray valves over here at CERTs, we couldn’t help but notice and then want to share with everyone a brand new report released from EPA, Water Sense at Work: Best Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities, that specifically calls out pre-rinse spray valves as a key water and energy saving retrofit. We are happy to report that all fixtures being offered in CERTs’ Water-Saving Bulk Buy Program meet the retrofit recommendations in the EPA report.
If you have already participated in our program and/or already have high-efficiency fixtures installed, you will benefit from the operation, maintenance, and...
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 2:35pm
In case you don’t already receive the YES! Quarterly e-Newsletter, here’s a story you don’t want to miss! Thanks to Aleta for sharing this story of YES! in Action.
The Westbrook-Walnut Grove YES! team has partnered with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership to install and demonstrate ways to increase water and energy savings in communities throughout the region.
Designed to increase community conservation awareness, this program teaches community members a plethora of no to low cost ways to save hundreds of dollars per year while saving the environment at the same time.
A member of the WWG YES! team, Stephani Gundermann, commented, “YES! is a great program [and has] made me really think about how I could make the world better.”
Read more about the WWG YES! team...
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 2:18pm
The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is currently seeking project proposals from Minnesota businesses for its 2013 summer intern program. Businesses interested in reducing waste and improving energy efficiency are encouraged to apply for an intern in 2013.
Each year, the interns are chosen based upon their outstanding educational background and leadership capabilities. “Our experience with MnTAP interns has shown them to be of a high caliber and able to work independently,” said Brad Gehring, energy specialist at Metropolitan Council Environmental Services.
Proposed projects are evaluated for reduction potential, specific goals achievable in three months, relation to previous projects, application of results to other Minnesota businesses, and company interest and commitment. Projects should focus on identifying specific options for reducing waste and increasing energy...
Mon, 12/17/2012 - 3:57pm
Solar energy is a big deal in Minnesota—and it’s getting so hot that it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on!
That’s one of the main reasons why the Minnesota Solar Challenge is providing support for communities across Minnesota that may be interested in capturing the benefit of their local solar energy resource. We don’t want any community to miss out on the economic development that comes along with solar—because solar means business!
Minnesota Solar Challenge partners will work with communities across Minnesota until February 2013 to implement local government best practices in permitting and zoning. The project aims to create a mature solar energy industry and create opportunities for homeowners and businesses to more effectively use their solar energy resource. Non-hardware costs such as...
Thu, 12/13/2012 - 1:38pm
Do you have a nice-looking solar energy installation in Minnesota? If so, we need photos!
As part of the Minnesota Solar Challenge (a US Department of Energy funded effort to remove barriers to rooftop solar PV deployment), we’re looking for high-quality photos of your best and most beautiful solar projects in Minnesota. These photos will help the Minnesota Solar Challenge show the variety and beauty of Minnesota’s solar installations.
What’s in it for you? This will benefit you in many ways, including visibility of your awesome contributions to Minnesota’s clean energy future! Many of these photos will also be used in the Minnesota Solar Challenge’s report to state policy makers in January 2013. As a bonus if you upload your photos by December 28 you may win two free...
Tue, 12/11/2012 - 1:01pm
As many of you know, CERTs has teamed up with the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society and CR Planning to work with local units of government on utilizing best practices for solar planning, zoning and permitting. Wondering why? Read the two new federal reports below about solar costs. The report about "Non-Hardware Balance of System Costs" speaks directly to the rationale for this effort. Want to know more about SunShot and the Minnesota Challenge? Check out our resources here: http://www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/solarchallenge
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) jointly released two reports examining solar photovoltaic (PV) pricing in the U.S.
The first report, ...
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 2:58pm
The Minnesota Project, a CERTs partner organization, is seeking a candidate to manage their energy program and to work with their agriculture program to expand new initiatives, maintain current energy projects, provide a voice in state and Federal policy work, and to attend and develop meetings and conferences. The ideal candidate will have expertise in at least one clean energy area, a clear understanding of energy and agriculture, and possess effective communications to reach multiple audiences.
The Minnesota Project, a nonprofit organization, champions the sustainable production and equitable distribution of energy and food in communities across Minnesota. Their programs are focused on clean renewable energy and energy efficiency; farm practice and policy that promote profitable farms that conserve and preserve natural resources; and the production and consumption of healthy,...
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 12:13pm
This is so cool: In order to celebrate the start of hockey season, CERTs is launching a series about energy projects done in ice arenas around the state of Minnesota.
Ice arenas have a familiar place in many communities, but what is not often thought about is that they are some of the most energy-intensive buildings a city can own. This is simply because it takes a lot of energy to make ice and keep it frozen, especially when there are stands packed with cheering spectators and large ceiling lamps blazing down. By making changes such as lighting retrofits or installing building automation systems, sensors or ceiling insulation, energy use can be reduced in ways that make the building more efficient overall.
Making energy-efficiency improvements to an ice arena not only has the potential to save money, they also serve a large portion of a community. The arenas host hockey games,...