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The Home Assessment area at the State Fair will display energy audit tools such as the blower door (at right) to demonstrate first steps to make a home energy efficient.

Energy efficiency takes center stage at State Fair’s Home Energy exhibit


Whether discovering money-saving energy tips or scouting out renewable energy options, this year’s Home Energy exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair promises visitors a chance to raise their energy IQ several notches.

The exhibit, located at the Eco Experience on the north end of the fairgrounds, will feature educational displays to show improved efficiency, comfort and safety of Minnesota homes. Visitors will be able to view vignettes of an existing home, including “interior room” and “yard” areas that highlight specific energy topics.

A few of those topic areas include:

  • Energy Use and Data area, presented by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will provide the overall context of energy use in Minnesota, including information on typical usage, sources of energy, and distribution systems.
  • Home Assessment area, led by the Minnesota Building Performance Association, will focus on the first steps for energy home improvement: learning how a home is presently operating and what steps to take to improve its efficiency. The basic tools of energy audits (infrared cameras, blower doors) will be displayed.
  • Basement area, presented by CenterPoint Energy, will display high efficiency furnaces, water heaters, and ventilation and air-conditioning equipment and will provide information on home efficiency programs.
  • Kitchen area, led by Warners’ Stellian and ENERGY STAR®, will showcase efficient kitchen and laundry appliances.
  • Paying For It area, led by the Center for Energy and Environment and Minnesota Housing, will answer homeowners’ questions about financing, rebates, and other options for making energy home improvements.
  • Solar Energy area, led by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, will offer four new interactive displays to highlight solar technologies and opportunities for implementation in Minnesota.
  • Wind Energy area, led by Windustry, will provide displays to see and feel the power of wind in Minnesota. A map will show the locations of best wind resources in Minnesota and how wind energy can benefit residential and commercial users.

The Home Energy exhibit is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources (DER) in collaboration with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). DER has recruited several partners—state agencies, utilities, retailers, neighborhood energy groups, nonprofits, trade organizations, finance agencies, and more—to implement a range of educational displays. The MPCA manages the entire Eco Experience, the largest environmental event of its kind in the country with more than 25,000 square feet of interactive experiences. More information is available on this year’s Eco Experience.

The great Minnesota State Fair runs from Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in Saint Paul.