Green Building Tour highlights Need for New Utility Business Model

The Citizen's League, which co-hosted today's Best Practices Green Building Tour, echoes the same vision for a new Utility Business model which has inspired Minneapolis Energy Options. See their webpage Here.

What I saw on the Green Building Tour illustrates the imperative transitioning to a performance based utility business model as opposed to a clinging to model where the goal is to merely sell more Kilowatt Hours.


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Green Building Tour

Citizens League and Corcoran Neighborhood Organization will be co-hosting a Best Practices Green Building Tour on Saturday, June 21.

Starting at 9:00AM, community members & development stakeholders are invited to meet at the Midtown Farmers Market (2225 E Lake Street) to then car pool to three local green building locations:
  • 9:30 Hawthorne Eco-Village
    Innovative, sustainable neighborhood redevelopment.
    Presenter: Abbie Loosen, PPL

  • 10:30 The Rose – Hope Community / Aeon
    New, mixed-income rental housing based on the Living Building Challenge™ standards. 
    Presenters: Will Delaney, Hope Community; Paul C.N. Mellblom, MSR Design 

  • 11:15 Passivhaus near Lake Nokomis
    Superinsulated, retrofitted home with no furnace based on German technology. 
    Presenter: Paul Brazelton

  • 12:00 Lunch/discussion/implications

To register for the tour, visit <>. Also, help promote the event on facebook!

Include Community Input into the City-Utility Partnership

*** This blogpost is also printed in the June 2014 Edition of the Southside Pride.


Right now is a prime window of opportunity for energy sector labor unions, clean energy experts, advocates for low-income residents, businesses owners, building owners, environmental justice advocates, and other energy stakeholders to be asking city hall to include community input into the anticipated city-utility partnership. The City of Minneapolis is currently working to form an innovative, first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy by end of 2014, as recommended by the Energy Pathways Study that the City Council unanimously adopted in March.  

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Compromise Reached on Centerpoint's Rate Case

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has reached a decision on the Centerpoint Rate Increase docket that has been underway for 9 months. The PUC did approve of a permanent rate increase for the Centerpoint’s 823,000 Minnesota customers. But the increase will be lower the 4.9 percent interim increase the PUC authorized last October. Centerpoint initially requested a 10.2 percent return on equity, but the PUC approved only a 9.6 percent rate. Read More:

CenterPoint Energy rate increase approved by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune, May 8, 2014 

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Commitment to Minneapolis City Utility Partnership Formally Acknowledged at PUC Hearing

On Tuesday April 29th, the Public Utilities Commission held a hearing on Minneapolis’ ambitious energy goals and how Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy are responding.  The City of Minneapolis has issued a press release on the hearing that has additional background information, which can be read here. Excitingly, the city and both utilities confirmed formal recognition of that commitment in front of the PUC.

 Chris Clark from Xcel Energy expressed excitement about opportunities for energy efficiency and accelerated renewable energy and is looking forward to working with those who are bringing new ideas. Jeff Daughtery from Centerpoint also stated that “our interests are aligned with the city” and wants to partner collaboratively.





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