Media: Conservation programs benefit consumers (ABC Newspapers)

Aug 18, 2016

From ABC Newspapers:


To the Editor:

Recently we sat down with Minnesota State Sen. John Hoffman and Rep. Melissa Hortman to share our story about the positive economic impact of Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) in our organizations. We’ve seen CIP’s value firsthand through the One-Stop Efficiency Shop, a full-service lighting program that partners with energy contractors like Premier Lighting to serve small businesses throughout Xcel Energy’s Minnesota service territory.

Thanks to CIP rebates and incentives via One-Stop since 2001, Minnesota Senate District 36 has invested about $1.8 million in energy efficiency projects. The district’s One-Stop business clients have received over $750,000 in one-time rebates plus over $500,000 in annual cost savings. Local energy contractors have earned nearly 750 related workdays. And the district also cuts 4,547 megatons of carbon annually — akin to pulling 758 cars off our roads.

Within District 36, The Edge Christian Worship Center’s energy-efficient lighting upgrades were implemented by Premier Lighting and supported through CIP-related rebates and incentives from Xcel Energy. Because of the upgrades, the center now saves almost $10,000 in energy spending every year. And boosted by rebates amounting to nearly $16,000, savings covered the cost of upgrades in just under two years.

Savings through energy efficiency:

-Amount to about 14 percent of Minnesota’s energy system resources.

-Are cost-effective, saving Minnesota households more than $6 billion dollars since 1995.

-Provide over 47,000 Minnesota jobs at about 500 businesses statewide.

-Cut carbon while preserving productivity.

The math isn’t hard. We can either buy more energy (8 cents per kilowatt-hour) or save more (1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour). CIP generates about $4 in benefits for every dollar invested, and the program has helped the state’s utility customers avoid almost 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

We offered our personal experiences to help Sen. Hoffman and Rep. Hortman better understand how CIP benefits local energy consumers, contractors, electric utilities and our economy. Businesses statewide would do well to join us and inform your own district’s policymakers about the valuable role the Conservation Improvement Program plays in your own lives and livelihoods.

Daniel da Silva
The Edge Christian Worship Center,
Greg Ehrich
Premier Lighting, St. Paul


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