City celebrates 2,000th home energy savings visit, thanks in part to Recovery funding
2,000 Minneapolis homeowners have now taken advantage of a program that helps them make energy efficiency improvements and cut energy costs in their homes. Mike and Breanne Rothsteins home was the site of the 2,000th Home Energy Savings Visit through the Community Energy Services program, a collaboration with the City and the Center for Energy and Environment. The program puts Minneapolis homeowners on a comprehensive path to achieving energy savings and is funded, in part, by a grant of $705,000 the City received from the Department of Energy through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
A pilot program was launched last year reaching 28 neighborhoods and 2,000 houses. The grant is being used to expand this program to all neighborhoods in Minneapolis, reaching a total of 6,000 homeowners. This program translates to an energy savings of $762,000 annually, a CO 2 emissions reduction of more than 5,000 tons per year, and 34 new jobs.
"We were excited to find out about the Community Energy Services program through CEE and the Windom Community. What a great way to use federal stimulus and state dollars during the tough economy—to put money back in the pockets of residents and be environmentally-minded by incorporating simple, energy-saving techniques," Breanne Rothstein said.
The Community Energy Services program offers:
- Free educational workshops to teach homeowners how to lower their energy use and save money;
- Materials, which may include low flow showerheads, setback thermostat, compact fluorescent light bulbs, gasket seals, faucet aerators, pipe insulation to help participants save now;
- Customized home energy visit from qualified professionals who will identify additional ways for residents to save energy in their homes, including a blower door test;
- Personalized energy use inventory for the past 12 months and feedback for the next 12 months to show homeowners how these low-cost/no-cost measures resulted in decreased energy use, as well as allowing participants to compare their energy use to that of similar homes;
- Access to financing, incentives, and rebates for those wishing to complete larger weatherization projects.
Two qualified professionals conduct the energy audit in the resident’s home. They identify a home’s unique energy needs, provide a blower door test to measure air leaks, and help homeowners install materials in the home such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, programmable thermostat, attic door weather-stripping, low-flow showerhead, gasket seals, pipe wrap and water heater thermometers.
For information on upcoming workshops in your neighborhood, contact Kyle Boehm at 612-219-7334 or www.mnces.org.
Published Oct. 14, 2010