Beyond simply enacting legislation and regulations to advance energy efficiency within the state's residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, state (as well as county and municipal) governments can also provide vision and leadership for their constituents.
Leading by Example
By having an agency dedicated to energy policies, setting goals for reduction of energy use by state agencies, establishing high standards for the efficiency of state-owned and operated buildings, and implementing policies that promote energy efficiency in public-service buildings, government demonstrate the value of energy efficiency and reduce the amount of the state's revenue that is spent on energy purchases. Every Midwestern state has a state energy office and many have adopted other policies aimed at managing the state’s energy consumption as well as encouraging others to follow its lead.
State Energy Office
Minnesota's State Energy Office is the Division of Energy Resources in the Department of Commerce. They oversee the state's Conservation Improvement Programs and other energy efficiency and renewable energy programs within the state.
Visit the Division of Energy Resources. Check out Minnesota's NASEO profile.
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State Energy Plan or Vision
Minnesota has a long history of supporting energy efficiency. Through legislation, regulatory and executive orders, and other strong energy policies, Minnesota has remained near the top of national energy efficiency rankings for a number of years. There is not a single broad non-legislative policy document that we have identified that lays out a statewide energy policy vision, but Minnesota is one of the states that very strongly leads by example in its energy efficiency practices. From a legislative perspective, the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act covers a broad spectrum of sustainable energy policies for the state.
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State Agency Energy Reduction Requirement
Executive Order 11-12 set a goal of reducing energy use in state facilities by 20%. The order does not set a deadline for reaching this goal, but sets deadlines for establishing benchmarks, goals, and implementation plans. Each agency must maintain its consumption data in the B3 Energy Benchmarking tool.
Executive Order 11-13 requires each agency to report on these goals in an annual Sustainability Plan. Each state agency must use the Guaranteed Energy Savings Contracts and State Energy Improvement Financing Program to implement cost-effective energy improvements.
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EE in New State Buildings
In 2001, Minn. Stat 16B 325 was enacted, requiring the Departments of Administration and Commerce to develop the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines for new state buildings. As amended in 2008, new buildings and major renovations must achieve initial energy savings 30% above the state's building energy code.
Additional clean energy requirements include Minn. Stat. 16B.32 which was amended in 2008 to require that building managers must supply 2% of a building's total energy use with on-site wind and solar power.
In 2009, the Public Buildings Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program (PBEEEP) was launched in order to provide assistance to state and local government buildings for recommissioning and retrofit projects.
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Recognition or Award Program
The Minnesota Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention recognizes public and private organizations for their pollution prevention initiatives, including energy efficiency and conservation.
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