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Steve Kihm, research director for ECW, presented at the first Industrial Energy Efficiency Technical Workgroup on Oct. 21 in Saint Paul.

Energy Savings Goal Study meetings help shape report

The information gathering process to help the Minnesota Department of Commerce address issues and opportunities related to Minnesota’s energy savings goal concluded with a final public stakeholder meeting on Nov. 4 at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul. About 100 attendees heard proposals on Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power and participated in an open forum. The meeting capped a series of six meetings—two pubic stakeholder gatherings and four technical workgroups—to help Commerce draft a report to the Legislature, due Jan. 15, 2014, on findings and recommendations on the state’s Conservation Improvement Program energy savings goal.

A range of stakeholders working in all aspects of Conservation Improvement Programs took part in question-and-answer sessions to help inform the process. Energy Center of Wisconsin (ECW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the wise use of energy resources, facilitated the meetings and is collaborating with Commerce on the final report. An Energy Savings Goal Study web page provides details on the process and timelines. Current Minnesota energy policy calls for the State to achieve annual energy savings of at least 1.5 percent of annual retail energy sales of electricity and natural gas, based on the Legislature’s finding that “energy savings are a resource, and that cost-effective energy savings are preferred over all other energy resources” (House File 729, 4th Engrossment, Article 12, Section 8).