Case Studies

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The Hunt Utilities Group (HUG) has been involved with CERTs over the last five years, and is a leader in the research, development and application of technologies and methods that support sustainable living and environmental stewardship. Their work inspires innovation and explores new and creative ways to build community.
Imagine the Minnesota State Fair’s agriculture building with delicious, candy red apples, amazing corn art, and great exhibits with engaging people. Now condense the event into a single day focused exclusively on sustainability. What do you get? The Olmsted County Think Green Fair!
Teachers, students, and administrators at Chisago Lakes Middle School joined forces to install a 10kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the school. Learn about their planning, fundraising and installation, educational opportunities that the project provides for students and the community, and their plans to share Project Independence as a model moving...
CERTs understands that Do-It-Yourself doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. For the CERTs Honeywell Programmable Thermostat Rebate Program, CERTs staff, Michelle Vigen, decided to put the “Do-It-Yourself” of the thermostats to the test. With only the help of the included installation guide, Michelle installed the RTH6350D, a mid-to-high end model...
Metro CERT has been working to address rental housing split incentives, particularly in the Phillips neighborhoods of South Minneapolis. This community consists of nearly 70% renters, with a large low-income population and an older housing stock. Ventura Flats, an apartment building in the neighborhood, was of particular interest because of the...
The White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) is a program started by community organizers at the White Earth Indian Reservation in Northwest Minnesota. In 2008, WELRP began a project to install solar hot air heaters to help heat homes on the reservation. Additionally, they aim to educate reservation youth about solar energy and its ability to replace...
The Cass County Transfer Station in Pine River, MN is a popular place among residents of the Northern Lakes area. Every week, around 300 people visit the site, bringing in recyclables, household hazardous waste and other items in need of disposal. In 2009, the station began to attract new attention with the installation of a 10 panel solar air heat...
In 2007 Rebecca Spengler decided to start a business, and rather than starting from scratch she choose to revamp an existing laundromat in Ely, Minnesota. She opened A Laundry Room Inc. that June. She wanted to create an energy efficient laundromat with solar energy production. In an attempt to educate herself on local assets for solar and other...
On a cool day in November 2009, Teresa Copley, the New London Middle School’s Youth Energy Summit (YES!) Team Coordinator, contacted John Duevel. YES! had been working with the New London Little Theatre to improve its energy efficiency, and now the students were interested in helping the Theater do a solar project. The Little Theatre is owned and...
Dan Evans and Jason Edens can be considered sparks—as the well-known cliché goes, “you can’t start a fire without a spark.” Together they have ignited enthusiasm for increased solar energy throughout the community. Their ideas of utilizing solar energy have spread to the Tribal Council at Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO), the faculty and students at...

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