Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Municipal Operations


Reduce municipal operations greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 percent annually.

Trend Analysis

Greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations have declined 17.5 percent since 2008, although the 1.5 percent goal was not met in 2011 when calcuating year-over-year.  From a 2008 baseline, 2012 emissions are still lower than a cumulative annual 1.5 percent reduction.  In 2011 and 2012, Minneapolis experienced hotter summers than normal, with 2012 seeing record temperature trends across the nation.  These hotter summers meant more emissions from electricity than in 2010.

In the past four years, $1.86 million of Federal Stimulus funds have been spent on installing more efficient heating and ventilation equipment, retrofitting light fixtures to high efficiency fluorescents, and adding insulation in buildings owned by the City. These investments have significantly reduced energy usage in City owned facilities.  Reductions in energy usage have also come from the no idling policy of City vehicles, new more fuel efficient vehicles and the implementation of a uniform temperature policy in City buildings.  When compared to the City’s energy usage patterns in 2008, these changes have saved the City over $6,000,000 in avoided energy costs.

Further reductions in energy usage are possible. Electricity usage accounts for 66 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by municipal operations. Since electricity is the largest component of the City’s energy usage, it has the largest potential for future emissions reductions and cost savings. With over 80,000 street lights, 31 percent of the City’s electricity usage goes to street lighting and signals. New lighting technologies, such as LED street lights, can cut lighting costs by 50 percent. As new LED lighting technologies emerge and drop in price, significant energy savings can be found in the near future by retrofitting existing street lights. The Water Treatment and Distribution function accounts for 38 percent of the City’s electrical usage. In addition to retrofitting lighting systems, the Water Works division has improved its process efficiency in the past four years so that it now takes ten percent less electricity than it did in 2008 to produce and distribute every gallon of clean water.

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Last updated Dec 16, 2014