Making Cents: Minnesota Companies Saving Energy

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Did you know reducing energy consumption costs less than generating that hour of energy use by an source of new generation?  

With much of Minnesota’s dirty coal-fired power plants dangerously outdated, increased energy conservation and investments in renewable energy becomes even more important for our energy future.  This is why we’re happy to hear the good news that Minnesota businesses are being recognized for their contributions to energy conservation. 

St. Paul-based 3M corporation and Bayport’s Andersen Corporation were recognized today by the US EPA for their contributions to energy conservation.  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson noted that these companies are using cost-effective ways to protect our health and grow the economy.  “Those who have invested in these energy saving technologies display economically-sensible solutions that are good for our communities and our future,” EPA Administrator Jackson said.  You can read more about this story at MPR’s News Blog.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS) have partnered with Waconia-based EnergyMisers, LLC to greatly reduce energy consumption from vending machines. You might not know it, but the average beverage vending machine runs more often than is needed to keep drinks cold and attract customers. It also costs around $300 every year to supply it with electricity. Installing a small, simple device called a VendingMiser on a machine can reduce its energy usage by 46% and save approximately $130 per year on energy costs.  In addition, the device cuts carbon pollution from a vending machine from 3 tons to 1.8 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

So far, the VendingMiser program, a bulk purchase program with rebate offers from some local utilities, has worked with 70 participants from governmental agencies, cities, schools, and businesses.  The City of St. Peter was one of the first cities in the state to sign up in 2010. “The City of Saint Peter was happy to participate in the VendingMiser Campaign from CERTS as a way to lower energy costs in City buildings for our taxpayers,” said City of Saint Peter Administrator, Todd Prafke. “We believed so strongly in the program that we spread the word about the campaign to all our local businesses and organizations and encouraged them to place their orders for the VendingMiser.”

Encourage your local vending machine owner to reduce greenhouse gases and overall energy bills by participating in the VendingMiser program today (Deadline: May 2nd.)

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