Mar 1, 2024

Case Study: Minneapolis Public Schools Lighting Improvements


Project Background

Justin Greif, General Foreman of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Electric Shop, had been working with a contractor on several lighting projects across the district. The contractor had worked with CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop on lighting consulting and rebates in the past and knew MPS could benefit from their expertise. Justin reached out to a CEE lighting consultant, and the two immediately began discussing the broader picture across the district portfolio.

Portfolio Assessment

The district has been faced with high energy costs, hard to maintain and obsolete parts, low quality light, and poor aesthetics. In addition, MPS has over 8.5 million square feet of interior space to maintain, and approximately 2/3 of spaces still rely on fluorescent or incandescent lighting. On previous lighting projects, the district had relied on contractors to fill out rebate paperwork, which left many potential rebates and grants on the table.

The lighting consultant developed detailed reports of the portfolio, determined project scopes, and managed bidding across multiple buildings and projects. He also handled all invoicing and rebate processes, saving time for district employees and ensuring rebates were maximized for each project.


In 2023, MPS completed 21 interior and exterior lighting retrofit projects with the One-Stop program resulting in $159,600 in annual energy savings and over $350,000 in rebates and Minneapolis Green Cost Share funding. These savings can go back to the district’s general fund, which helps shore up funding for academics or other building projects. Upgrading from fluorescent to LED lighting has improved student and employee comfort, potentially leading to better student outcomes.

"Working with CEE is like having an extra staff member on our team working hard for MPS’s interests. The high-quality reports, bid documents, and work to collect invoices and process rebates would be extremely difficult to replicate in house." - Justin Greif, MPS Electric Shop—General Foreman

Justin and his One-Stop lighting consultant are still working together to improve lighting quality through MPS buildings. They have 26 more projects planned for 2024 and have collaborated to rewrite the master specifications to include preferred products that maximize rebates.

Learn more about the One-Stop Efficiency Shop

"In 2023, my department alone collected over $100,000 in rebates and grants simply by working with CEE. These are funds that go back into the general fund and can be used to fund academics."

Justin Greif, MPS Electric Shop—General Foreman

2023 Project Impacts


  • Obsolete parts that were difficult and costly to maintain
  • Inconsistent and low-quality lighting
  • High energy costs


  • Reduced maintenance needs and costs
  • Significant rebates and grants, saving money for general fund
  • Improved lighting quality and employee and student comfort

Rebates & Savings

  • $159,600 in annual savings
  • 1,508,668 kWh in annual energy savings 
  • $308,902 in rebates
  • $48,304 in Minneapolis Green Cost Share funding