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Metro CERT Region
Diana McKeown
06/05/2018 - 12:38pm
The Metro region, like all the CERTs regions, is guided by a steering committee. The steering committee is made up of people with affiliations from communities, environmental organizations, utilities, state and local governments, academia and business. They help the Metro CERT staff keep updated on what is happening in their networks, what is emerging and what is needed to support community-scale clean energy projects. They also set priorities based on those trends and needs to guide the program and funding for the region. Click here to see the current members of the steering committee. Over the past few months the steering committee has set priorities for the next two years that include elements from the broader CERTs strategic direction. The priorities for the Metro region for 2018 & 2019 include: Focus...
Xcel Energy Partners In Energy Program
Tami Gunderzik
05/11/2018 - 11:36am
Although Minnesota communities share a common belief of how important a healthy environment is to both our economy and lifestyle, there are many ways of putting that value into action. Finding ways to engage local businesses and residents to make a contribution toward a clean energy plan is an approach that works. Eighteen communities in Minnesota have participated in Partners in Energy to develop a plan that helps them identify where they want to go with respect to energy and how to best achieve those goals, and now there is an opportunity for even more to share in their success. Xcel Energy is now accepting applications for the next cohort of communities to join Partners in Energy....
Business Blitzers (left to right): John Howard, City of Winona; Chris Meyer, SE CERT coordinator; Sadie Neuman, City of Winona; Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs; Joel Haskard, CERTs
Sadie Neuman
05/08/2018 - 2:34pm
After a snowstorm delayed plans, five staff from the City of Winona and Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) set out in March for the first Business Blitz in downtown Winona. The blitz involved walking door-to-door in downtown Winona to speak with small and medium sized businesses about reducing energy use and saving money on their energy bills. They achieved their goal of reaching 100 small and medium businesses, and signed 29 businesses up for free energy assessments with EnergySmart, a program offered by the State Chamber of Commerce. The blitz is following the success of a series of blitzes in other communities over the past several years. Throughout the day, the Business Blitz team informed business owners...
Minnesota GreenStep Cities survey results
Alexis Troschinetz
04/13/2018 - 11:15am
We had a great response rate to the second annual survey of cities and tribal nations in the Minnesota GreenStep program. The number of cities and tribal nations responding to the survey improved four points over the inaugural survey. Read on for some highlights of the results! 2017 Survey: 84 responded out of the 110 communities at the time = 76% response rate 2018: 96 responded out of 119 = 80% response rate It’s great to have so many communities will to share feedback about the program! We will continue to improve the program based on the survey’s responses.   Top Best Practice Actions for 2018   GreenStep Best Practice Advisors and others are busy following-up with the 72 GreenStep Cities or Tribal Nations that expressed interest in receiving assistance on 12 specific best practice actions. If all of...
Photos from the 2018 CERTs Conference
Lissa Pawlisch
04/06/2018 - 12:54pm
Over 500 Minnesotans attended the seventh statewide CERTs Conference, connecting to build a clean energy future in their communities! March 28-29 were two truly energizing days in St. Cloud, MN for the 2018 CERTs Conference. Communities, organizations, and individuals showed up to figure out how they can get projects done, save money, and be part of Minnesota’s fastest growing jobs sector. See photos from the event:   Conference presentations available for download   The 2018 CERTs Conference featured 80 speakers who shared their experience and expertise. Their presentations are now available so you can see what you...
Seven communities won 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards
MN Dept. of Commerce
04/03/2018 - 2:15pm
Seven Minnesota communities are recipients of the 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The awards were presented March 28, 2018 at the CERTs Community Driven Clean Energy Conference in St. Cloud. This year’s awards honor community-organized clean energy initiatives in the Town of Crystal Bay, City of Edina, Hennepin County, Minnesota State University Mankato, City of Red Wing, City of Warren, and Sustain Winona. These communities are contributing to the state’s clean energy goals with programs, policies and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation. “Minnesota has ambitious clean energy goals and the objective of our Clean Energy Community Awards is to acknowledge the great work of...
School solar installation in Minnesota | Photo by IPS Solar
Peter Lindstrom
03/07/2018 - 3:17pm
Recent publications point out that clean energy and schools might be the best combination since the first peanut butter and jelly sandwich made it into a school lunchbox! But seriously, utility spending in our nation’s schools is no laughing matter. According to the blog Meeting of the Minds, schools spend over $8 billion annually on energy, more than textbooks and computers combined. Why save energy and go solar?   Schools in Minnesota can get a great understanding of their electrical consumption by first, participating in B3 Benchmarking, an online tool that tracks energy use and provides accurate comparisons to similar facilities. Second, schools can participate in the Department of Commerce’s...
Rochester Recreation Center received massive energy upgrades
Peter Lindstrom
03/07/2018 - 2:55pm
Aging buildings often use a lot of unnecessary electricity, and two key facilities in Rochester—Rochester Recreation Center and Mayo Civic Center—had many opportunities for energy savings. This case study highlights improvements at both centers that have increased efficiency and will extend the life of these important community hubs. Two Centers in Need of Upgrades: The Rochester Recreation Center, constructed in 1974, contains two ice arenas, a gymnasium, a pool, offices and locker rooms and is home to several hockey programs, a figure skating club, and a swim club. The facility had an aging ice plant refrigeration system, needed mechanical improvements to address occupant comfort and dehumidification concerns, outdated lighting, and was using multiple systems to control the equipment. At 115,000 square feet, it was an energy hog. Across town, the Mayo Civic Center had recently...
Kate Wolford with The McKnight Foundation
Dan Thiede
02/28/2018 - 9:56pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Kate Wolford, President of The McKnight Foundation, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Kate Wolford: I serve as president of The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation...
Michelle Gransee with Minnesota Department of Commerce
Dan Thiede
02/28/2018 - 9:46pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Michelle Joy Gransee, State Energy Office Manager – Clean Energy & Programs at Minnesota Department of Commerce, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Michelle...

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