Hutchinson: Community Partner in the ENERGY STAR Challenge
Hutchinson may be Minnesota’s Manufacturing City, but Minnesota’s hometown is home to much more. The City of Hutchinson became a Community Partner in the ENERGY STAR Challenge in order to offer the businesses, churches, and housing centers that make up our city an incredible opportunity to improve their bottom lines through energy reduction and efficiency improvements.
The City, in partnership with the Great Plains Institute, the U.S. Green Business Council, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is offering technical support to track and reduce energy use. There are funds of up to $600 or 50% of costs for buildings to take the next step in their energy reduction and become ENERGY STAR certified. We hope that through this partnership we can work to improve the economic vitality of the businesses that make Hutchinson such a unique place, while solidifying our city’s place as a leader in outstate Minnesota. Learn more about at the Minnesota ENERGY STAR Challenge website.
We held a successful kickoff event for the ENERGY STAR Challenge on Thursday, April 21st at Faith Lutheran Church to show not only what services are being offered to save energy, but also demonstrate that energy efficiency is already something that is happening in our community! Faith Lutheran in 2010 installed geothermal wells to heat and cool their place of worship. At this event we highlighted that success, as well as others around our community, to show how easy it is to do your part to help the environment. We will also talked about how to go about making your building more energy efficient, and what free services the ENERGY STAR Challenge team is offering to help you track your building’s energy usage. Even better, there are funds available for the best buildings to become energy star certified.
Who should sign up for free assistance? Anyone owning a business, representing a nonprofit (including Churches!), or operating a building in or around Hutchinson!
- Medical offices
- Office buildings
- Multi-family housing
- Senior Care Facilities
- Retail Spaces
What happens when you sign up? After you sign up for the voluntary challenge, someone will be in contact with you shortly to set up a visit to your building to examine its energy inefficiencies and help set up benchmarking. From there, we will enter your building’s energy use data into an online program called portfolio manager where you will gain private access to graphs detailing your energy consumption and comparing it to those of similar buildings in similar climates!
What happens after benchmarking? The ENERGY STAR Challenge is based on the idea that you can’t save what you don’t know you’re wasting. The other side of that is that it’s easy to save energy when you know what your building’s inefficiencies are! We can offer you resources to save energy in many areas of your building’s use including in operations, maintenance, lighting, HVAC, envelope sealing etc.
One important goal of the Challenge is to achieve recognition of sustainability and efficiency throughout our beautiful city! That’s why the Challenge is offering financial assistance to you to achieve ENERGY STAR Certification for your building! When a growing body of research demonstrates that ENERGY STAR certified buildings on average use 35% less energy than comparable buildings, command higher occupancy rates and rental premiums, and reduce air emissions as well as operating costs, applying for certification can only add benefit to your building, business, or organization.