Minneapolis Energy Options welcomes the recent commitments by Xcel Energy to help the City meet its energy goals, but says we must go further.
MINNEAPOLIS – August 9, 2013 –The Minneapolis Energy Options campaign welcomes the recent commitments by Xcel Energy to help the City meet its energy goals, in response to the public pressure generated by the campaign. It is clear that the people of Minneapolis want a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more local energy future, and these commitments by Xcel could be a first step toward that future.
“Xcel's letter is a step toward a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more local energy future,” said Dylan Kesti, Campaign Coordinator for Minneapolis Energy Options. "We appreciate that the mayor has acknowledged that, due to the grassroots efforts and the community power of Minneapolis Energy Options, we are taking a step forward and that community organizing has positioned the city as never before to have the best negotiating power with the utilities.”
Minneapolis Energy Options agrees with Mayor Rybak that the Minneapolis City Council should not place a municipal utility question on this year's ballot, so the City can try to get the utility to live up to these commitments as part of franchise negotiations next year.
“ This is a step forward, but we need accountability to hold the utility to these commitments,” remarked Dylan Kesti. “ We must work collaboratively to build bridges to a more sustainable and equitable Minneapolis.”
To hold the utility to these commitments, the City Council must act on August 16th to develop an energy vision, continue fighting for more flexibility at the legislature, and commit to finalize its franchise negotiations by the end of June, 2014.
The recent commitments by Xcel, though real, are clearly low-hanging fruit: several do little more than commit to follow new state laws on community solar and standard contracts for renewable energy projects. The City can and should fight for more specific commitments from Xcel to meet our energy goals.
Minneapolis Energy Options is a coalition of organizations and neighbors interested in expanding energy options for the City of Lakes. We support more conservation and energy efficiency, local renewable energy and democratic control of our energy system.
Office of Mayor R.T. Rybak News Release
Xcel Announces New Commitments to Minneapolis’ Energy Future
Mayor Rybak looks forward to ‘productive, collaborative partnership’ between City and Xcel; expresses belief that City should not put municipalization question on November ballot
August 8, 2013 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Earlier today, Northern States Power–Minnesota President and CEO Dave Sparby sent Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson a letter in which he outlined a number of new commitments that Xcel Energy is willing to make to Minneapolis’ energy future and to “provide the city with even more choices for reliable, clean, cost-effective energy.”
Later in the day, Mayor Rybak sent President Sparby a detailed response in which he expressed “real hope that we can seize opportunities that have been missed in the past” — including, among others, to power the City’s streetlights with renewable energy, to make a solar investment at Xcel’s Riverside plant, and to provide Minneapolis-specific reliability reports, all points or commitments that President Sparby outlined in his letter.
Mayor Rybak also expressed the hope that future conversations between the City and Xcel will “address the unique challenges of Minneapolis’ older housing stock and the dramatic benefits of improved weatherization, in both winter and summer.”
Mayor Rybak added, “I thank City Coordinator Paul Aasen and Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, chair of the Council’s Regulatory, Energy and Environment Committee, for their hard work in helping to secure these commitments. I also thank advocates, including Minneapolis Energy Options, for pushing our community and me to expect more and for insisting on a more sustainable energy system for future generations.”
By Cam Gordon, as Published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet Community Voices.
The City of Minneapolis has adopted aggressive goals for dealing with the most pressing environmental problem of our time, global climate change. But our current electricity provider is not doing enough to help Minneapolis residents and businesses to reduce our energy use and increase the percentage of our energy we get from clean, renewable energy sources. They are continuing to raise rates even as consumption falls, and those rates are going in part into questionable investments in outdated nuclear plants, private jets and corporate profit. Reliability is not improving, and the electrical grid is more sensitive to external shocks than it needs to be.
It would be irresponsible for us not to seize this moment to put our energy economy on a different path, either by improving the behavior of our existing utilities or by forming one of our own. Other cities have their own energy utilities, and by and large they do as well or better than investor-owned for profit utilities like Xcel on key performance measures like cost, reliability, and renewable energy. The City also has a proven track record in providing cost-effective, highly popular utility services.
Minneapolis Energy Options and CenterPoint Energy announce agreement to reduce carbon emissions in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS – July 23, 2013 – Minneapolis Energy Options (MEO) and CenterPoint Energy announced today that they have entered into an agreement to collaborate on energy initiatives in the City of Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Energy Options Campaign is working to address rising energy costs and moving toward a clean, affordable, reliable, local energy future.
“The Minneapolis Energy Options campaign applauds CenterPoint's leadership, by entering into this agreement to reduce their global warming impact, increase efficiency, and create a more sustainable and equitable future for the residents of Minneapolis,” remarked Dylan Kesti, campaign coordinator for the Minneapolis Energy Options campaign, which has pushed for a November ballot measure that would authorize the City of Minneapolis to explore establishing a municipal energy utilities in the city.
“With the announcement of today’s agreement, Minneapolis Energy Options feels that authorizing the formation of a city-owned gas utility is no longer necessary at this time. Minneapolis Energy Options is excited to see CenterPoint responding to Minneapolis residents’ grassroots leadership,” said Dylan Kesti. “We are thankful that they are ready to work with us for a cleaner, more affordable, reliable and local energy future in Minneapolis.”
CenterPoint Energy has committed to pursue the City of Minneapolis’ goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2025 and to assist all of its customers in reducing their energy consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Save the Date!
Attention Minneapolis: We need you and your neighbors at City Hall on August 1st at 9:00 am to show your support for an affordable, local and clean energy future for our city!
By a 10-3 vote on Friday June 28th, the Minneapolis city council agreed to hold a public hearing on a ballot measure to create municipal electric and gas utilities. It’s the first step toward addressing rising energy costs and moving Minneapolis’ energy forward.
Minneapolis Energy Options is hosting a Rally at 9am-10am outside at the Hennepin County North Plaza supporting City Hall in keeping our energy options open. We need YOU at this rally to show that Minneapolis wants a better energy future.Read more