North St. Paul Draws Engaged Crowd for Energy Efficiency Event


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North Saint Paul Energy Efficiency Kit

The City of North St. Paul, which may be best known by metro area locals as the home of a giant snowman accompanied by a wind turbine (both visible from State Highway 36 between highways 35E and 694), proved last week that smaller cities can have a huge impact when it comes to energy efficiency.

Back in the summer of 2012, City of North St. Paul staff members Jessica Anderson and Chad Miller were looking for a way to engage residents in energy efficiency. They applied for funding through the CERTs Seed Grant program in August and were awarded $1,000 to develop their project, “Save Energy, Save Money,” an educational campaign and contest for residents to save energy.

The project kicked off last Thursday evening with a workshop at City Hall, drawing a crowd of 65 residents and filling almost all available seats in the building’s large training room. Attendees watched a lively presentation from Metro CERT Director Diana McKeown, who explained the many actions that residents can take to lower their energy bills.

Pointing out that not every action is possible for every person, McKeown said, “Energy conservation and efficiency is about finding the strategies that work for you and your home [and] that make you more comfortable.” For a list of actions, click here.

After the presentation, attendees each received a home energy efficiency kit from the City’s Director of Electric Utilities, Brian Frandle. Many residents also signed up to take part in the city-wide “Save Energy, Save Money” energy savings contest, in which participants will compete against each other to see who can reduce their electricity use by the greatest percentage during the month of February (using February 2012 as a weather-normalized baseline).

While we’ll have to wait to see just how much energy is saved through the contest, the City of North St. Paul is proving that with just a small amount of funding and staff time, community energy efficiency can have a big impact.

View more photos from the event in this slideshow:

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    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission