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First meeting is held to address state’s Energy Savings Goal

The Minnesota Department of Commerce on Oct. 17 held the first of six meetings with stakeholders to address a series of issues related to Minnesota’s energy savings goal. Current Minnesota energy policy calls for the State to achieve annual energy savings of at least 1.5 percent of annual retail energy sales of electricity and natural gas, based on the Legislature’s finding that “energy savings are a resource, and that cost-effective energy savings are preferred over all other energy resources” (House File 729, 4th Engrossment, Article 12, Section 8). The stakeholder process will assess this policy and will include general meetings on the current energy savings goal and meetings on subtopics of special interest. The process will culminate with a report to the Legislature on findings and recommendations on the state’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) energy savings goal.

The first public meeting included presentations by industry experts and a panel discussion with representatives from different stakeholder groups. Technical workgroups will meet beginning Oct. 21 to discuss straw man proposals on industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power. The proposals are intended to facilitate discussion about Minnesota’s energy savings goal. The second public stakeholder meeting is set for Nov. 4. A schedule of stakeholder meetings and technical workgroups is available. The final report to the Legislature is due Jan. 15, 2014.