Issues

Energy Efficiency

Minnesota’s opportunity for better buildings with SB 2030

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This summer, the Minnesota Environmental Board (EQB) released the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Report (CSEO Report), laying out the need to expand Minnesota’s “zero energy” building code, Sustainable Buildings 2030 (SB 2030). SB 2030 is an initiative to make all newly constructed and renovated buildings carbon neutral by 2030. It is a voluntary program for private Minnesota buildings as well as a requirement for all buildings receiving general obligation bond funding. This energy standard has led to an approximate savings of 534 billion BTUs and $8.3 million per year compared to the minimum energy code requirements.

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Energy Efficiency

Fresh Energy proposes decoupling, improved energy conservation for Otter Tail Power

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Today, Fresh Energy filed expert testimony in Otter Tail Power’s current rate case at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), proposing a full revenue decoupling mechanism that could improve energy conservation investments for consumers. Otter Tail Power had proposed increasing the monthly customer charge from $8.50 to $13.30. This monthly charge is largely seen as discouraging energy conservation and energy efficiency because customers will pay the same amount no matter how much energy they use. Fresh Energy instead put forward a decoupling proposal that would help address Otter Tail Power’s concerns around stable revenue streams while allowing for substantial energy efficiency efforts and cost savings by the utility and its customers

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Energy Efficiency

Fresh Energy Welcomes Senior Policy Associate Ben Rabe

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Ben joined Fresh Energy in June of 2016 as a senior policy associate on the energy performance team, leading the organization’s work on energy efficiency related to building performance. We are thrilled to have Ben on the Fresh Energy team driving our efforts to maximize building efficiency through organization’s policy development and advocacy, legislative engagement, and communications work.

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Energy Efficiency

Fresh Energy Welcomes Our Summer Fellows

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Fellows help power Fresh Energy programs – and provide professional experience to emerging clean energy leaders. This summer, Fresh Energy is excited to welcome our summer fellows Ana Diaz, Kate Strickland, and Saskia Zinn. We also recently said farewell to our spring fellow Dave Evans.

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Energy Efficiency

David Collier joins Governor Mark Dayton, wraps up his Capitol Pathways internship

This spring, Fresh Energy was happy to take part in the Capitol Pathways program to improve diversity at the State Capitol. As part of that program, David Collier worked with our legislative team to build support and protect key policies this past session. As part of that work, David was asked to speak alongside Governor Mark Dayton and other interns at the reception to celebrate the first year of the Capitol Pathways program.

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Energy Efficiency

Fixed charged increase denied by Minnesota regulators

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Minnesota regulators have denied an increase to CenterPoint Energy’s monthly fixed charge, instead pointing to the company’s current decoupling policy as the best way to balance revenue requirements with energy savings.

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Energy Efficiency

Research shows utilities save even more with decoupling

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A recent article published in the Electricity Journal, co-authored by Fresh Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), shows that utilities with decoupling policies are putting more money into energy efficiency and achieving greater energy savings.

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Energy Efficiency

Statement on the Supreme Court’s demand response ruling

“This ruling is absolutely critical to moving us toward a future where energy is used more efficiently and strategically. Minnesota utilities have already begun utilizing demand response programs in Minnesota, such as optimizing customers’ large electric water heaters and air conditioners to save all ratepayers money. But we are only beginning to scratch the surface of this potential. As utilities and regulators develop more sophisticated ways to track and implement demand response techniques into the market we will be able to shave our peak energy demand significantly – creating savings for consumers and utilities alike.”

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Energy Efficiency

How can the Clean Energy Incentive Program increase low income energy efficiency?

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The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) is a provision in the Clean Power Plan that awards allowances to states for early action to invest in renewable energy, such as wind and solar, as well as low-income energy efficiency projects. Notably, double credits will be awarded for low-income energy efficiency projects that reduce end-use energy demand in 2020 and 2021. Fresh Energy is urging the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to include participation in the CEIP through five targeted recommendations.

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