The story of CIP: How a lightbulb can make a big difference on a company’s bottom line

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Did you know that by 2030, Americans are expected to have saved around $2 trillion in energy efficiency measures alone? Yes, that’s trillion – with a T. And in Minnesota – of the more than 57,000 clean energy jobs located across our state – a staggering  86 percent of those are in the energy efficiency sector. Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest energy resource we have in Minnesota: it costs significantly less to save a unit of energy than to buy one.

It is for these reasons that CEEM teamed up with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), Master Electric, and Ace Hardware of Prior Lake to lead a discussion and in-district tour on energy efficiency for Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) this week. The focus of the discussion was on the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), and how it has helped create programs that save energy resources often through incentives to purchase and install energy efficient products.  

Al, the owner of Ace Hardware in Prior Lake, shared that thanks to rebates offered through his utility’s energy efficiency program – he was able to overhaul his lighting system. Thanks to this upgrade, Al is enjoying an annual savings of $3,000 per year on his electricity costs. The upgrades have been so beneficial to his bottom line, he’s talking about a possible solar installation in the future. He also spoke about the rebates giving him the ability to slash prices on LED light bulbs, thereby passing his savings on to his customers.

He shared his story with Sen. Pratt – who sits on the Minnesota Senate Energy and Utilities Policy and Finance Committee. The discussion took place at Master Electric headquarters in Prior Lake. Master Electric also utilizes  CIP dollars to  install many lighting efficiency upgrades across Scott County. Master Electric shared that it’s success and growth – they employ around 50 people – comes from programs like CIP that incentivize businesses and homeowners to make the investments in their buildings.

Through the combined efforts of CEE, business owners like Al and Master Electric, the CIP program has saved enough energy to avoid building nine power plants over the last 20 years. This saves residents and businesses money because building fewer power plants means paying for fewer power plants on your electric bill. It’s a story about how something as small as a lightbulb can create big savings for businesses and homeowners alike.

– Posted By Amelia