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April 2019 CIP News

4/18/2019 1:51:15 PM


CIP News

CIP Policy

Burr Energy LLC has been selected by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to organize and facilitate a series of stakeholder engagement meetings focused on fuel switching within Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). The purpose of these meetings will be to identify and discuss key issues, opportunities, and concerns around fuel switching through CIP and determine if exceptions or modifications to current policy are warranted. Information concerning the timing of these meetings will be distributed to CIP stakeholders in the coming weeks. Please contact Anthony Fryer with any immediate questions. 

CARD Grant Program Update

The purpose of the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program is to identify new technologies, strategies, and program approaches that utilities can implement to help achieve the annual state energy conservation goal of 1.5% as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. 

New reports highlight opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of supply-side resources

Project teams led by GDS Associates recently completed two major projects to help Minnesota utilities better understand the opportunity to leverage Electric Utility Infrastructure (EUI) efficiency improvements in their Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) plans. Two newly published reports highlight the opportunities and barriers to implementing EUI efficiency in CIP:

  • The EUI Potential Study Report, funded by the CARD program, estimates the magnitude of the conservation opportunity, and shows that EUI projects have the potential to offset approximately 0.13% of annual electric sales (excluding CIP-exempt sales) toward CIP goals.
  • The Draft EUI Action Plan synthesizes the findings from an extensive stakeholder engagement process, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to clarify the regulatory landscape and help drive implementation of EUI efficiency projects by leveraging CIP tools.

Additional resources developed over the course of these two projects include policy guidance, EUI project screening tools, and a recorded webinar presenting the findings. These can be found on the EUI Efficiency Potential Projects webpage. For more detailed summaries of the two EUI reports, read more.

Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study: New utility reporting tool and technical reports available

New technical reports and a utility reporting tool are now available from the recently completed “Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study: 2020-2029.”

  • Utility Reporting Tool — The utility reporting tool enables results of the potential study to be examined in more granular detail, including by individual utility (both electric and natural gas), building segment, end use, and measure. 
  • Study Appendices — A rich knowledge base of background information and data was developed for this study – including primary data collected from Minnesota building stock and input from stakeholders involved in energy efficiency policy and implementation. Much of this background material is presented in newly released appendices, which provide more context about the study’s methodology and data sources, individual market sector studies, and more detailed results from the potential study’s modeling for each of the seven analysis areas.

The potential study was led by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) and funded by CARD. According to the study, Minnesota currently has some of the lowest-cost and best-performing utility energy conservation programs in the nation. Looking ahead, the study provides detailed guidance on how utilities can achieve additional cost-effective energy savings over the next decade.  

For more information on the study, contact project manager Adam Zoet or CARD program administrator Mary Sue Lobenstein.

Commerce issues RFP to conduct economic impact analysis of CIP
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources seeks proposals from qualified organizations or individuals to conduct an economic impact analysis of the Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). This Request for Proposal (RFP) has a maximum funding of $200,000. The full RFP and required forms are available for download on the Commerce RFP webpages. Proposals submitted in response to this RFP must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. CT, Monday May 6, 2019. Late proposals will not be considered. Instructions for submitting proposals are detailed in the RFP.
News & Resources 

Report: Clean energy jobs in Minnesota increase nearly 5% to more than 61,000
More than 61,000 Minnesotans now work in the clean energy industries after adding 2,737 jobs in 2018, according to the 2019 Clean Jobs Midwest Report, an analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Clean energy jobs in Minnesota grew by 4.7%, or 2.5 times faster than the overall state job market (which grew 1.9%). Minnesota also experienced the region’s strongest renewable energy generation job growth—11.8%—despite the sector struggling on the national level. Energy efficiency jobs continue to be the largest sector for Minnesota clean energy employment, with three out of every four clean energy jobs in the state. Clean energy employers in Minnesota project adding more than 4,400 clean energy jobs in 2019, a 7.3% increase. The Clean Jobs Report was released April 9 by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening Minnesota’s clean energy business community. To view the entire report and for comments from Gov. Tim Walz, Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley, and CEEM Executive Director Gregg Mast, read more.
AESP Midwest Chapter meeting is May 16 at Great River Energy in Maple Grove
Smart speakers and smarter efficiency programs will take center stage on May 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Great River Energy's headquarters in Maple Grove, Minn. In the morning, two speakers will share the stage to provide the key essentials to capturing Minnesota's potential for energy efficiency. Travis Hinck, GDS Associates, will talk about utility infrastructure efficiency, and Jon Blaufuss, Center for Energy and Environment, will cover demand-side efficiency potential in Minnesota. Both speakers have conducted research on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. In the afternoon, there will be presentations on smart speakers and home automation. Xcel Energy's Chad GIlhoi works on how to leverage the growth and excitement around smart speakers and convert that into stronger customer relationships and energy savings. Register to attend.
MEEA white paper examines how a regional TRM could help small utilities
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) conducted primary and secondary research, including discussions with a working group of experts and stakeholders, to develop an understanding of how technical resource manuals (TRM) are used in the evaluation and measurement activities of small utilities in the Midwest. MEEA’s white paper summarizes the research, outlining the current strategies, their strengths and weaknesses, and suggesting pathways toward a simplified small utility TRM. Read more.
Health, safety measures show weatherization is about more than saving energy
The state’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is best known for its energy-saving benefits to low-income Minnesotans, saving most households about $300 per year on their energy bills. However, Kathy, a single mom with two children from west central Minnesota, and others who have received weatherization can tell you there’s much more to WAP than sealing air leaks and adding insulation. Read a new WAP success story to learn how WAP protects the health of clients by performing safety assessments to detect carbon monoxide, mold, moisture, and other health hazards in homes it serves.
ACEEE report looks at energy efficiency programs for multifamily buildings
Energy efficiency programs have historically underserved multifamily housing for low-income households, largely because of the barriers this market presents to program administrators. A new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) report, “Closing the Gap in Energy Efficiency Programs for Affordable Multifamily Housing,” examines 32 programs that target affordable multifamily buildings, focusing on energy savings, spending, participation, and cost-effectiveness. It describes the details of program designs that have proved effective in overcoming the unique challenges of this market. Read the report.
Study looks at improving responses to home energy audits
Tens of thousands of home energy assessments are conducted every year in the United States, but many recipients do not follow through on their recommendations. A new ACEEE report called “After the Audit: Improving Residential Energy Efficiency Assessment Reports” looks at ways to improve response rates of those recipients. ACEEE studied 45 sample assessment reports by coding them for design and content elements, sending them for review by a panel of experts (energy assessors, graphic designers, and behavioral scientists), and examining a subset using an eye-tracker. It also surveyed over 600 customers who received assessments to see how they responded to them. The report summarizes the study results and suggests a number of strategies that assessors can use to increase the chances that customers will follow through on their recommendations. Read the report.


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