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Minnesota Department of Commerce awards 12 energy conservation grants

6/21/2019 3:44:41 PM

Projects will identify ways to maximize energy savings in Minnesota

SAINT PAUL (Date)  – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced $2.7 million in grant awards to advance research and innovation in energy conservation. The 12 applied research and development projects aim to identify new technologies or strategies to maximize energy savings, improve effectiveness of energy conservation programs or document carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation programs. The grants are awarded through the state’s Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program. In addition to these grants, the projects leverage nearly $285,000 in matching funds from grantees. 

“In order to advance energy savings and efficiency, we must invest in research and discovery. These grants, and the research projects they help fund, are important tools to help us make progress toward our state’s energy and environmental goals,” said Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley. “We’re excited to announce the grant winners and are looking forward to seeing the projects come to life.” 

Projects for this year’s CARD grants were selected from a pool of 45 proposals submitted through a competitive grant process. Grant recipients include a range of nonprofit groups and businesses, many with years of experience working alongside utilities to help them achieve energy conservation goals and benefit Minnesota utility ratepayers.

Funded by utility companies, the CARD program was created to help achieve the state’s energy conservation goals, as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. The goal, as stated in the act, is “to achieve annual energy savings equal to 1.5% of annual retail energy sales of electricity and natural gas” directly through utility conservation improvement programs and indirectly through energy codes, education, market transformation programs, consumer behavioral changes and other methods.

More information on the CARD program is available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website ( Questions can be directed to the Commerce Department’s Energy Information Center via email at or by phone at 651-539-1886 or 1-800-657-3710.

CARD Grant Awardees:

The Cadmus Group
Award: $206,077
Project: Conduct research to better understand the market barriers & opportunities for cold climate air source heat pumps in residential households in order to provide program design guidance. 

Center for Energy and Environment
Amount: $360,707
Project: Develop and validate design, installation and operational protocols for cold climate air source heat pumps to achieve high market acceptance and maximize energy savings. 

Center for Energy and Environment
Award: $343,940
Project: Measure performance, energy savings and customer acceptance of ductless cold climate heat pumps in multifamily applications and establish installation protocols to ensure applications are reaching Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) goals. 

Center for Energy and Environment
Award: $120,170
Project: Identify and quantify new opportunities for state-of-the-art, high performance envelope retrofits on single-family homes. 

Center for Energy and Environment
Award: $226,850
Project: Conduct a comprehensive market study, which will include evaluation of current practices, industry trends, market barriers and innovative program approaches, of the commercial and industrial refrigeration market. 

Franklin Energy Services
Award: $141,631
Project: Evaluate the challenges related to the adoption of networked lighting control systems in small businesses and their potential solutions. 

LHB, Inc.
Award: $321,631
Project: Conduct a field study of five Minnesota buildings to evaluate the impacts of the non-invasive retrofit strategy of installing phase change material above dropped ceilings to passively regulate room temperature. 

Michaels Energy, Inc.
Award: $266,837
Project: Quantify the energy savings associated with replacing water & water/glycol mixtures with nanofluids as a heat transfer medium in HVAC applications.

Slipstream, Inc.
Award: $170,134
Project: Analyze available field data and established load shapes to understand the energy cost and emissions impacts of measures that both save electricity and shift the time that the load occurs.

Slipstream, Inc.
Award: $169,488
Project: Characterize light levels of LED-lit commercial spaces in Minnesota and quantify energy savings associated with optimizing light levels. 

University of Minnesota - MnTAP
Award: $70,000
Project: Conduct research to identify opportunities for increased energy efficiency at Minnesota drinking water utilities. 

2050 Partners, Inc.
Award: $343,212
Project: Develop a roadmap for the creation of a robust Minnesota Codes and Standards (C&S) program and establish a pathway for Minnesota CIP utilities to participate in in the C&S program in order to achieve increased energy efficiency. 


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