Energy efficiency and saving the planet; how the two go hand-in-hand

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There are many ways to arrive at the same conclusion: energy efficiency is just a smart business decision.

For The Weidt Group, an energy design business that operates in 18 different states and has had its’ headquarters in Minnetonka for 40 years, the numbers (like the group’s ability to average a 30% reduction in utility bills for customers), speak for themselves. For other folks, like Senator Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) the importance of efficiency policy is directly tied to helping reduce carbon emissions for a safer, cleaner planet.

The Senator and the business, along with Clean Energy Economy MN met recently to talk about the Conservation Improvement Program or CIP. The program supports electric and gas utilities in reaching their energy-savings goals established by a powerhouse piece of legislation, the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. The program is also a huge factor in The Weidt Group’s growth and success over the years – now proudly employing some 78 employees across the country, the bulk of which work at the Minnetonka headquarters.

CIP works as a rebate program administered by our state’s utilities – like Xcel Energy, and the work provided by companies like The Weidt Group, assists utility customers in making the right kind of energy efficiency improvements to support their needs and their budget. To date:

  • CIP has helped save more than $6 billion since 1998.
  • Every $1 invested in CIP yields $4 in economic benefits.
  • Third party evaluations have found 80% of efficiency savings would not have taken place without CIP.
  • Saves all utility customers money by reducing the need to build new generation and infrastructure.

The meeting served as an opportunity for The Weidt Group to illustrate the importance of energy policy to the success of their business. They told the Senator that since 1992, through the CIP program, they’ve made energy efficiency improvements in 967 buildings in Minnesota which translates to 142 million square feet. They’ve also helped realize $185 million in savings for their Minnesota customers over the same time. The numbers impressed Sen. Cwodzinski. And after the meeting, CEO of the The Weidt Group Jim Douglas had this to say:

“It was great to reconnect with the Clean Energy Economy MN team, and honored to meet Senator Cwodzinski to hear about his supportive legislative work. So many people have accomplished great work to advance Minnesota clean energy through CIP and many sibling programs. We look forward to the innovations and partnerships on the horizon!”

CEEM also looks forward to the innovations currently taking place that make for an exciting future for clean energy growth in Minnesota. About 45,000 or two-thirds of all clean energy jobs in Minnesota are in energy efficiency and this sector is growing faster in Minnesota than the rest of the Midwest. CEEM is committed to continuing our education efforts with legislators to ensure that smart policy with proven results like CIP remains a part of our state energy policy framework.

To learn more about past visits with legislators, click here to learn about our visit with Sen. Simonson (DFL-Duluth) in Duluth, or here to learn about Cedar Creek Energy in Coon Rapids with Sen. Hoffman (DFL-Champlin), and here to visit Precision Gasket Company in Edina with Rep. Anselmo (R-Edina).