Minneapolis Launches Commercial Building Energy Challenge

Goal #7 on Community Power's online checklist for the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership has now come to fruition! The City of Minneapolis formally launched its Commercial Building Energy Challenge formally launched at a gathering last Wednesday in the City Hall Rotunda. The City now invites all tenants, managers and owners of large commercial buildings to join in the challenge of reducing their greenhouse gas footprint by 15 percent (from the 2014 level) by 2020.

Building Energy Performance Award Winners

Not only do large commercial buildings consume almost 50% of the City's energy use.  Large commercial buildings present the low-hanging fruit as far as opportunities to save energy. This makes the Building Energy Challenge essential to fulfilling the 80% by 2050 emissions reduction and 30 percent by 2025 goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan.         

Having an element of competition provides an inventive to spread awareness of all energy efficiency program offerings, to share success stories abouy what work well in saving energy, and overall use peer-to peer-marketing to motivate additional building owners to take action. 

Successful competition to make buildings more energy efficient will have the secondary benefits such as:

  • Stimulating renovation jobs
  • Driving up the real estate value of participating buildings
  • Low energy costs attracting small business tenants

The Minneapolis Commercial Building Energy Challenge evolved from the City’s Commercial Building Benchmarking and Transparency ordinance passed in February of 2013. It required large commercial and municipal buildings over a certain square footage to annually track and report energy and water usage to determine opportunities for improvement. All owners and managers whose buildings above the minimum square footage can enroll their buildings to be in the challenge at this link Here and potentially win an annual award starting next year. The City of Minneapolis has an Energy Benchmarking website, as well as Minneapolis Energy News newsletter. 

At the gathering last Wednesday, Mayor Betsy Hodges and City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden took time to congratulate businesses and institutions who have has the highest Energy Star score and the lowest energy use intensity as a result of responding to the Citys energy benchmarking opportunity. Among these first recipients of the energy Champs Challenge Awards included DelaSalle High School, Doubletree Hotel, 33 South Sixth, Minnehaha Academy South, Broadway Place West, and Residence Inn City Center for winning today’s awards, and to the Ackerberg Group, Hennepin County, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and Hennepin County Medical Center.

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