During the Minnesota Environmental Initiative 1.5 Percent Energy Efficiency Solution Project, one of the issues addressed by the Low-Income Technical Work Group (LI TWG) was development of strategies to increase conservation investment in rental housing. It was determined there was lack of guidance on what qualifies as low-income as a challenge to delivering and developing CIP offerings for low-income customers and for rental properties. This guidance should be used to identify buildings that will be occupied by a reasonable proportion of low-income residents for multiple years to justify that Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) spending will benefit low-income customers.
The LI TWG developed a methodology to account for delivered fuels and small gas weatherization savings through electric utility conservation programs. The delivered fuels guidance allows for electric utilities to offer space heating and DHW conservation measures in circumstances where low income customers do not have access to CIP programming. This guidance should be used in conjunction with the Low Income Verification Guidance to answer any additional questions about how the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources defines low income as it pertains to CIP.
For municipal and cooperative utilities, residential and commercial utility-controlled energy storage devices may be included as an eligible load management expense in a utility’s CIP portfolio. Investor-owned utilities may make a similar investment as a pilot program or research project. All projects must be pre-approved by the DER before including energy savings in the annual goal or toward the financial incentive. This guidance is effective from June 6, 2011 through June 30, 2014.