It seems like summer has just barely started, but the Minnesota State Fair is just around the corner—August 21-Sept. 1. For the third straight year, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources will host an “Improve Your Home” energy exhibit at the Eco Experience on the north end of the fairgrounds.
The exhibit will provide Minnesota homeowners, renters, and builders with many measures that can improve the energy-related operation of existing homes. It will demonstrate opportunities to invest in the performance, durability, health and safety of existing homes.
In addition, this year’s Eco Experience will feature a “New Home Exhibit” from the University of Minnesota’s Cold Climate Housing Program that focuses on energy opportunities for residents to implement in new and existing homes. The New Home Exhibit, with funding support from Commerce, will capture the design solutions for high-performance homes that U of M students created at the 2014 U.S. Department of Energy Challenge Home Student Design Competition. The students won three national awards for homes at least 40-50 percent more efficient than standard new homes.
The Improve Your Home exhibit will include museum-like displays to demonstrate many ways homeowners can improve the efficiency and sustainability of their homes. From basic energy assessments and energy conservation measures to exploring clean energy options, the exhibit will provide engaging displays for kids and adults alike. For instance, thanks to a Minnesota Solar Suitability App, fairgoers will be able to enter their address and identify the solar potential of their home or business. The App, developed by a University of Minnesota Solar Dream Team, will provide Lidar-derived data that will indicate the solar potential for specific locations throughout the state.
The Improve Your Home exhibit is a partnership of state agencies, utilities, retailers, neighborhood energy groups, nonprofits, trade organizations, finance agencies, and more.
The State Fair’s Eco Experience is the largest environmental event of its kind in the country with more than 25,000 square feet of interactive experiences. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency manages the Eco Experience. A Minnesota State Fair App serves as a complete guide to the Minnesota State Fair.