At its May 29th meeting, the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership Board formally approved its work plan for the years 2015-2016. Click Here to read the official City press release. The Planning Team of the Partnership along with the Energy Vision Advisory Committee has put forth a lot of dedicated effort into coming up with the work plan.
The goals of the partnership are to reduce Minneapolis Greenhouse Gas emissions by expanding Minneapolis utility customer’s access to and use of clean/ renewable energy and energy efficiency innovations. It is guided on the principle that the City of Minneapolis and both utilities can accomplish much more on climate and energy goals by collaborating with each other and taking advantage of each other’s complementary assets rather than the previous status quo where the city and both utilities worked in isolation from each other.
There are three basic strategies the Partnership has devised:
1: Access to energy data & information - This is essential so we can know which programs are effective and identify equity issues in which groups and geographic areas that are underrepresented in the usage of currently offered utility programs.
2: Strategic city policy levers - What are the most impactful ways the city can use its networks, communication and policy tools?
3: Community and stakeholder engagement- The long-term success of the partnership depends upon identifying and implementing strategies to drive participation in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs higher than historic levels for each of the following 5 segments.
1: 1-4 Unit Residential Buildings – There are a lot of good programs currently offered here particularly for homeowners, but we just need a greater number of people to participate.
2: Multi-family residential buildings (5+ dwelling units) – These are historically underserved by energy efficiency programs though both utilities have recently developed a multi-family program that will begin implementation next year pending approval by state regulators.
3: Small Commercial Buildings – The utilities admit small commercial is a traditionally challenging sector for them to reach. The Partnership will focus on advancing an already existing small business energy coaching effort along the Lake Street Corridor and will glean the best program design ideas for the 2017-2018 work plan.
4: Large Commercial Buildings – Seen as the biggest Greenhouse Gas Reduction impact for the least amount of money and effort. The City has adopted a Commercial benchmarking ordinance that will be used to provide data for the Partnership’s outreach efforts.
5: City Enterprise – There were a few efforts included into the work plan because they were already underway by the city which include 1: LED Street lighting, 2: exploration of city fleet alternatives, 3: infrastructure planning for specific sites, and 4: A city RFP for Community Solar Garden subscription.
The next stage for the Energy Vision Advisory Committee is to develop the metrics that will be used to track progress toward meeting city and utility goals. Community Power will be pushing for metrics on the localization of energy, circulation of local energy dollars, and local job creation. Also, we need metrics that include an impacts and benefits analysis on people of color and low-income communities.
Community Power was specifically mentioned as a key contributor to the Partnership by board member Elizabeth Glidden, who highlighted our June 16th Community Event which we will be hosting with her in the Lyndale Neighborhood."
Two Exciting announcements at the end of the meeting included:
Minneapolis has received recognition by the White House for progress on DOE Data Accelerator!
Minneapolis was ranked the #7 most energy-efficient city ACEEE City Scorecard!