CEE serves many important people in the upper Midwest, from homeowners to businesses and entire communities. To do this well, we depend on a staff of experts who are as skilled in energy science and operations as they are collaborative and compassionate.
Ongoing challenges kept us on our toes in 2021. Amid COVID, struggling supply chains, and ongoing remote work, we prioritized our home team and community relationships above all else. We made meaningful progress through programs, policies, research, and financing for practical energy solutions to strengthen our economy and our environment.
Together, we continued our journey toward a healthy, carbon-neutral economy that works for all people. Along the way, CEE served more than 8,400 homes and businesses through direct support and valued partnerships with nearly 40 Midwest cities and 25 Twin Cities neighborhoods. Our researchers took on 30 active projects to investigate and advance innovations in energy efficiency. And we loaned over $22 million to help Minnesotans put energy-saving strategies to work in their own homes and businesses.
Working across strategies, platforms, and places, we expanded CEE’s program offerings in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and here at home in Minnesota. We forged new partnerships in home energy career training and building energy efficiency. And our teams collaborated with 22 top-tier research partners from around the country.
With ambitious efficiency goals and dozens of active programs, projects, and partners, we know our broadest successes rely on daily wins for each member of our 150-plus team. So, as we attended to evolving safety guidelines, we also benchmarked all salaries against a dynamic job market, enhanced employee benefits with improvements such as 12 weeks paid leave for any new parent, upped our focus on staff’s professional development, and leaned into collaboration and flexibility that drive productivity and feed our company culture.
These last few years have tested everyone, inviting us to identify and prioritize what matters most. At CEE, our top goal is to take care of our people — meaning the vibrant communities we’re mission-driven to serve and all the exceptional colleagues within our (often virtual) office walls. As our journey continues, I’m grateful for every one of you who’s on it with us.