Minnesota Department of Commerce

Clean Energy Community Awards

 

The Clean Energy Community Awards are an acknowledgment of the work done by Minnesota communities to further the state’s clean energy goals by implementing planning, programs, policies, and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy generation.

 

The awards are given in two categories, Achievement and Planning.

  • Achievement Awards: Given to up to five Minnesota communities, the CECA Achievement awards acknowledge the work that communities have had in place in the previous year that demonstrates progress towards reaching the state’s clean energy goals. Designed to showcase and support the efforts of Minnesota’s communities, the Achievement awards also encourage a network of communications for sharing of best practices among communities from around the state.
  • Planning Awards: Given to up to three Minnesota communities, the CECA Planning awards seek to provide support and resources for communities that are at the beginning to intermediate stages of working towards the state’s clean energy goals. Designed to encourage the implementation of planned projects, the Planning awards will provide feedback to successful applicants as well as connect communities with a variety of clean energy resources. 
  • Community Clean Energy Art Contest: Additionally, applicants to either the Achievement or Planning awards are invited to submit original and creative visual images as representations of clean energy in their community. 

Benefits

Achievement award recipient communities will receive:

  • Recognition at the Clean Energy Award ceremony at the CERTs (Clean Energy Resources Team) Conference March 28, 2018 in St. Cloud, MN: Communities will receive 5 free registrations for the day of the presentation; and Community representatives will be invited to share their successes through a panel discussion and poster session.
  • Statewide media coverage including press packets for distribution to local media outlets.
  • Achievement Award suitable for public display.
  • Recognition in the 2018 Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair.
  • Web recognition on Commerce and CERTs website.

Planning award recipient communities will receive:

  • Recognition at the Clean Energy Award ceremony at the CERTs (Clean Energy Resources Team) Conference March 28, 2018 in St. Cloud, MN: Communities will receive 5 free registrations for the day of the presentation; and Community representatives will be invited to learn from the successful Achievement award recipients through a panel discussion, poster session, and overview workshop.
  • A site visit to the community by representatives from Commerce and other organizations to evaluate existing plans and facilitate implementation of initiatives through connections to resources.
  • Statewide media coverage including press packets for distribution to local media outlets.
  • Planning Award suitable for public display.
  • Recognition in the 2018 Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair.
  • Web recognition on Commerce and CERTs website.

Eligibility

  • Communities: Can consist of any group formed to implement clean energy goals. Units of government (city, county, tribal nation, school district, military unit, or other jurisdiction) must be a core member, but coalitions that include nonprofits, service organizations, and businesses will strengthen the application.
  • Timing: Planning initiatives must be active during 2017 and Achievement initiatives implemented by the time of application.
  • Geography: Applications will be considered from throughout the state, regardless of population or geographic location.

Evaluation

Applications will be reviewed by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Successful applicants will be evaluated by the following metrics:

  • Efforts towards furthering the state’s clean energy goals.
     
  • Policy development, such as adoption of Comprehensive, Sustainability, Zoning, or Climate Action Plans that support measurable clean energy achievements in public or private buildings or other infrastructure.
     
  • Community partnerships with local business, industry, agriculture, nonprofits, utilities, or residents.
  • Public engagement efforts, stakeholder education, or other community outreach endeavors.
  • Implementation of energy efficiency or renewable energy projects or programs that benefit low income and/or historically underserved communities.
     

Application Process 

To apply to be a Minnesota Clean Energy Community, fill out the form below for each initiative you’d like to share no later than February 12, 2018. Questions can be directed to energy.info@state.mn.us or 800-657-3710.

Learn More 

Click here to download a flier about the Clean Energy Community Awards criteria and possible initiatives >>