MEEA Unplugged

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Buildings are the Biggest Energy Users. A Minnesota Town is Doing Something About It

white & glass commercial office building

Big cities aren’t the only ones making sustainable communities a priority. On June 4, 2019, the Edina, MN City Council approved the Efficient Building Benchmarking Ordinance encouraging building owners to track and reduce their energy use. The initiative requires owners of existing commercial and multifamily buildings over 25,000 square feet to benchmark their building's energy d ata. Edina is now the second city in Minnesota (after nearby Minneapolis) to require benchmarking. Buildings use 60% of all energy in Edina, and benchmarking is a common-sense step to reduce energy usage and improve energy efficiency in the city. Benchmarking helps building owners and staff understand their current usage and identify free and low-cost upgrades…

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Benchmarking: How Des Moines is Establishing a New Baseline in the Midwest

Des Moines skyline from above

Des Moines, Iowa joined the ranks of some of the most sustainability-conscious cities in the Midwest when the city council adopted a new benchmarking ordinance on June 3, 2019. The ordinance will require all city-owned buildings and privately-owned commercial and multifamily buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to report their energy and water usage to the city. Currently, large buildings in Des Moines account for 56% of greenhouse gas emissions, and this initiative will aid in the city’s goal of reducing their emissions 28% by 2025. Des Moines emerged as a leader in energy efficiency in the Midwest in 2007 when its city council adopted the Energy Efficiency and Environmental Enhancement Policy, which outlined greenhouse gas…

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This Lighting Guide Helps Indoor Growers Weed Out Fraud

a "green wall" of plants at an indoor growing facility

In November 2018, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), "a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the widespread adoption of high-performing commercial lighting solutions", released the requirements for new lighting products to be registered on the plant-focused qualified products list (QPL). As of early May 2019, there are around 18 products listed on the QPL. As the list grows, it will serve as a helpful resource for those seeking information about plant-focused luminaires, especially growers in the indoor agriculture business like cannabis cultivators. The Qualified Products List, Explained The new horticultural QPL follows several lighting focused requirements lists that have been previously released by the DLC. The…

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