Conservation Improvement Program 2017: CEE program highlights
Since the 1980s, CEE has worked to empower individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and communities to become energy efficient while saving money and lowering harmful emissions. We offer innovative, personalized programs, finance and install energy-saving upgrades to residential and commercial buildings, and engage in comprehensive field research. Our data-driven initiatives foster the development of dynamic and effective energy efficiency methods, support and advance clean energy legislation, and help today’s consumer meet energy demands at the lowest cost.
Many CEE services contribute to Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), which requires the state's utility companies to provide customers with energy efficiency opportunities and competitive rebate incentives. Overseen by the Department of Commerce, CIP offers a valuable framework that helps homeowners reduce utility bills and energy use, preventing energy waste and contributing to Minnesota’s growing low-carbon economy.
Of the CIP-affiliated programs that CEE delivers on behalf of utility clients, some 2017 highlights:
One-Stop Efficiency Shop offers a full-service rebate program for small businesses, with a focus on lighting and rooftop unit improvements. One-Stop provides practical solutions to energy challenges by removing energy efficiency barriers, such as limited financial resources, lack of access to high-quality contractors, and time constraints. In 2017, One-Stop completed 2,549 projects, leading to the conservation of 13.5 megawatts and 72 gigawatt hours of energy, as well as $8.6 million in disbursed rebates and $6.7 million in annual savings for local businesses.
Home Energy Squad identifies energy efficiency opportunities for residential homeowners, offering free installation of energy upgrades like smart thermostats and efficient LED light bulbs. This past year, HES expanded its Residential Engagement Program to the St. Paul Metro Area, working with vetted contractors to generate insulation quotes that help homeowners understand their energy use and the cost of energy-saving measures. In 2017, Home Energy Squad made 4,781 visits, saving consumers 23,372 dekatherms and 3,815,238 kilowatts of energy.
The Multifamily Energy Savings Program is provided by Minnesota Energy Resources and offers multifamily building owners rebate incentives for installing products that conserve energy, like high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators, in buildings such as assisted living facilities, 55+ and low-income housing, condominiums, and apartments. Since its inception, the program has served more than 4,000 multifamily apartment units, saving an estimate of $35 per unit yearly.
Regional Residential Energy Programs connect homeowners with energy-saving resources and provides information about efficiency methods through partnerships with local utilities, including Austin Public Utilities, Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services, Minnesota Energy Resources, Owatonna Public Utilities, and Rochester Public Utilities. Among its 2017 accomplishments, the program held four Neighborhood Energy Challenge workshops in Rochester, one “Conserve & Save” workshop in Owatonna, and two webinar “conserve & save” workshops for Austin residents — over 150 households participated.
Energy Intelligence for Industry helps small Minnesota manufacturers understand energy use, and implement customized energy efficiency plans that prevent energy loss, through the use of 15-minute interval data displayed on an online dashboard. The program works with customers to identify free or low-cost opportunities to conserve energy, with an aim to identify 5% energy savings at each site. In 2017, Energy Intelligence enrolled 31 new customers and continued its work with previously enrolled participants, 36 of which completed the program this year.
Authorized Insulation Contractor Program offers insulation and air sealing services in the region served by Minnesota Energy Resources. Participating contractors benefit from easy access to competitive utility-paid rebates. In 2017, CEE’s New Home/QA Manager Phil Anderson and his assurance team took over management of the AIC program, and in total, the program completed 27 quality assurance inspections.
The Conservation Improvement Program supports tens of thousands of jobs, and has saved Minnesotans billions of dollars by reducing energy use. CEE looks forward to building on the successes of our past year, contributing our teams' force and wisdom to promoting energy efficiency through CIP-related efforts, delivering community-based programs and resources that provide Minnesotans with practical ways to save energy and money while strengthening our natural environment.