Civic Organizations Project Planning Resources



Communities across Minnesota are recognizing the importance of adopting community-wide energy conservation and renewable energy programs. These programs can help manage energy costs, as well as reduce the production of emissions. A program designed by your community, specifically for your community’s needs, will receive wide support and provide benefits across all sectors, strengthening your local economy and creating jobs. You are the people you’ve been waiting for, so get started!

This page starts out by showing you the most recent content from across the CERTs website. Jump to detailed resources.

Civic Organizations Blog Posts

David and Lissa facilitate conversation after the film screening and presentations
Lissa Pawlisch
Mon, 12/03/2018 - 4:43pm
On November 27, over 140 people from the Red River Valley attended a film screening of the new documentary, The Power of Minnesota, that took take place at the Historic Fargo Theatre. Event highlights included a social with appetizers, presentations...
Bill Sanford at Lakeland PBS leading a tour. Photo by Sarah Gazelka
Joel Anastasio
Thu, 10/18/2018 - 4:43pm
Back to back clean energy events at Lakeland PBS on Thursday October 11th featured a tour of solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency projects, a screening of a new MN clean energy documentary, and local speakers.   Geeking out: Touring...
Chisago County Solar Celebration on October 4, 2018
Dan Thiede
Fri, 10/05/2018 - 4:26pm
On Thursday, October 4, Chisago County took center stage at the Chisago Lakes High School Performing Arts Center in Lindstrom to celebrate the county’s role as the Solar Energy Capital of Minnesota. Solar in Chisago County: The 100MW North Star...

Civic Organizations Case Studies

Everyone would like to save money on utility bills, and most people want to conserve our natural resources, right? Well, in Southwest Minnesota, what initially started as an effort to raise awareness among tenants, management, and community members about the importance of the responsible use of natural resources such as energy and water turned out to...
Cook County, located on the North Shore, recently conducted an energy audit on the Cook County Higher Education (CCHE) facility. The process and results were used by CCHE in partnership with Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) to host multiple workshops for contractors and community members. The workshops educated participants about energy...
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.
Civic Organizations Project Planning

Looking for technology resources?

Explore technology resources
If you’re looking to learn more about a specific technology, like energy efficiency, solar, or wind, we have what you’re looking for. Our technology resources include everything from basic introductions and frequently asked questions to CERTs case studies to recent reports and organizations that can help you go deeper. Learn more.

CERTs Supported Projects

See CERTs-supported projects
CERTs awards Seed Grants to community groups for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. See projects or learn more about grants.

Detailed Resources for Civic Organizations

Community Strategy

The Clean Energy-Environment Municipal NetworkUS EPA
The Network is an informational resource network that supports local governments’ efforts to use clean energy strategies to advance community priorities.

Smart Communities Network: Creating Energy Smart CommunitiesNat’l Center for Appropriate Technology
Resources and information to help communities get started with energy planning and community-wide energy conservation. Focuses on energy conservation programs, benchmarking and reducing greenhouse gases, and community involvement in energy management. Includes studies of successful community projects.

Under Development: Helpful Tools and Techniques for Local PlanningMinnesota Planning
This report provides information on local planning and includes several sections on energy.

Guide to Developing a Community Energy ProgramRocky Mountain Institute
Provides a systematic approach to community involvement in building a sustainable energy future.

Clean Energy Projects You Can Do Now!CERTs


Community Energy Association
This British Columbia-based organization provides information and tools for local governments to facilitate community energy planning. Includes background on basic concepts, outlines strategies, and demonstrates case studies.

Rural Minnesota Energy Board
RMEB is a Joint Powers of 17 counties in southern Minnesota; formed to provide policy guidance on issues surrounding energy development in rural Minnesota.

Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED)
C-BED works toward renewable energy development in a way that optimizes local economic development and environmental benefits.


Step-by-Step Project Planning GuideNorthwest Community Energy
This guide runs the gambit of community energy project development: (1) Project scope & plan, (2) Typical project phases, (3) Cost management, (4) Risk management, (5) Procurement, and (6) Professional Assistance. They also have a nice primer on community energy for community groups.

Community Energy Planning ToolkitCommunity Energy Association
Though this resource is focused on British Columbia, it provides many helpful models for practical community-based energy development.

Residential Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Incentives in MinnesotaOffice of Energy Security
This one-page document is a handy overview of all incentives offered by the state of Minnesota for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. It includes links to more information.

Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) fact sheetCERTs

Duluth Green House Gas Inventory & Forecast ReportCity of Duluth
Recommendations of Duluth’s Local Action Plan, October 2001. Details the Cities for Climate Protection program goal-setting and inventory process.

Minnesotans building a clean energy future


    CERTs Partners:

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