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Energy Savings Goal Study lays groundwork for state energy policy objectives

Last year the Legislature, in House File 729 (H.F. 729) 4th Engrossment, Article 12 Section 8, directed the Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources to conduct meetings with stakeholders and members of the public to produce an Energy Savings Goal (ESG) Study on findings and legislative recommendations. The ESG process generated valuable feedback that addressed outlined priorities and helped clarify productive next steps that Commerce can take to improve the state’s programs and policies going forward.

A summary of recommendations from the study follows:

  1. State Energy Policy Objectives: Commerce recommends that the legislature further explore and define the primary objective of Minnesota’s state energy efficiency policy goals.
  2. Combined Heat and Power Policy Objective: Commerce recommends that the legislature explore and define a more specific policy objective behind CHP development in the state. Commerce recommends continued engagement of stakeholders in 2014 to clarify policy regarding the incorporation of CHP into existing policy frameworks and, more specifically, its inclusion in CIP.
  3. Industrial Energy Efficiency Risk Reduction: To bring more energy efficiency measures to the forefront in Minnesota industrial facilities, actions are needed to help industrial firms increase investments in efficiency improvements.
  4. Energy Metering and Measurement: Inclusion of sub-metering and ISO 50001 (an international standard developed specifically for industrial energy management) as a component of Minnesota’s energy plan or as part of CIP could potentially help promote data-driven decisions and identification of potential energy efficiency improvements for an industrial customer.
  5. State Effort to Promote E3 Framework: Consider opportunities to use the E3 framework (a federal effort using energy efficiency to positively impact 1) Economy 2) Energy 3) Environment) to provide energy efficiency assistance to industrial customers that are within CIP and/or those that have opted out of CIP.
  6. Financing for Energy Efficiency: Commerce recommends further exploration of new financing programs through existing efforts with stakeholders such as financial institutions, non-profits, regional economic development agencies, local units of government, utilities, and others to determine the most effective financing tools available and the feasibility of implementing these tools within the current regulatory framework.

The full study, titled “Energy Savings Goal Study & Stakeholder Process Legislative Report” (pdf), can downloaded and viewed from the Commerce website.