The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 (the Act) established energy conservation as a primary resource for meeting Minnesota’s energy needs while reducing greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions. The Act established a State Energy Conservation Goal of 1.5 percent of annual retail electricity and natural gas sales, to be achieved directly through utility Conservation Improvement Programs (CIPs), and indirectly through energy codes, appliance standards, market transformation programs, consumer behavioral changes, efficiency improvements to utility infrastructure, and other efforts to promote energy efficiency and conservation.
To help achieve the State Energy Conservation Goal on a sustained basis, the Act further created a Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program funded through utility assessments. The purpose of the CARD Program is to identify new technologies or strategies to maximize energy savings, improve the effectiveness of energy conservation programs, or document the carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation projects. The Commissioner is authorized to assess up to $3,600,000 annually for the CARD Grant Program.
Focus areas of the research and development projects include: