Businesses Case Studies


The Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) recently used grant funding from CERTs to conduct a community survey in Beltrami County, Minnesota in order to identify and understand the community’s renewable energy and energy efficiency financing needs. HRDC partnered with the Sustainability Office at Bemidji State University for the project and...
Saint Paul Energy Coordinator Jim Giebel knows the importance of saving energy for a city government. He oversees the energy usage of over 160 city facilities in Saint Paul, with 3.2 million square feet of space whose collective energy costs total around $8.5 million annually.
Minneapolis has big hopes for renewable energy in the city, with a goal of 1MW installed renewable capacity by 2014. A large step toward this goal was completed in 2011 with six individual solar projects installed along the Energy Innovation Corridor.
As the market for electric vehicles (EVs) grows and local dealerships begin stocking more of them, consumers will be thinking about where to find charging stations. While most EV owners charge their vehicles at home, drivers looking for a charge around town may struggle with an EV charging infrastructure in its infancy.
The City of White Bear Lake has a robust, independently owned restaurant community – one that attracts guests from around the metro area.
Restaurants use more energy per square foot than any other commercial business. However, saving energy is possible, as Trish Appleby has demonstrated in her restaurant Donatelli’s Homemade Italian in White Bear Lake, MN.
In one of the state’s most visible and most successful projects, St. Paul’s RiverCentre used $44,000 dollars in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding to replace 1,087 high-pressure sodium lights with new, energy efficient fluorescent lamps. The cost of the project was over $125,000 dollars, but RiverCentre, receiving EECBG funding and...
For local businesses, energy efficiency is an effective method of reducing overhead costs, but the upfront capital needed for improvements can be challenging to find.
The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) has recently worked hard to make local businesses shine. Currently, there are only a few solar photovoltaic (PV) flat roof type installations on Minneapolis small businesses and the Kingfield Neighborhood Association is trying to change that.
Buffalo Public Utilities Director Joe Steffel was looking for a way to engage small businesses in his community by helping them to take advantage of energy-saving opportunities. “I knew that there was no substitute for knowledge,” said Steffel, “and using that knowledge to get people to act.””


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Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission