In light of the recent passing of the Energy Omnibus Bill in the Minnesota House, programs like EnerChange may be in jeopardy should certain parts pertaining to the reduction of the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) take place. The EnerChange program was born out of a very real need of a historically overlooked sector of energy users in Minnesota; Non-Profits. EnerChange is Minnesota non-profit that was created to serve this segment as they are often in the most need of financial relief and often have higher energy costs than similarly sized for-profit organizations.
Although the EnerChange program accounts for a fraction of the total CIP funds, the direct effects of our work have had a substantial impact on non-profits throughout the Twin Cities metro area. The organizations who receive our energy assessment services and implement at least some of our energy conservation and efficiency recommendations save on average of $6,400 per year ($2,500 for the average Church). For a food shelf, a family shelter, or one of the hundreds of small churches we’ve provided assistance to throughout the state – these savings, although modest, can be applied towards the organizations true mission in perpetuity, as they continue to save this amount year after year. In some cases this can provide real sustained relief for organizations struggling to stay afloat and can help the administrators focus their time, energy and savings on assisting their constituents.
“It’s difficult for a non-profit to take advantage of the many energy saving companies in the market. EnerChange gives us a preliminary look at our building and our utility usage, and they do it at no cost. This is a tremendous value that I recommend to any church or non-profit organization. Most of us spend 10 to 30% more on energy than we need to, and EnerChange can help us find those savings.” – Dan Jaeger – Business Administrator, Church of St. Patrick
We believe the EnerChange program stands as a testament to the foresight and fortitude of hundreds of previous policy makers who had concerns about our community and environment. Without lawmakers and a history of strong environmental policy leaders in the state, Minnesota would not be recognized as a national leader in energy policy. On behalf of the non-profit community of Minnesota we encourage future support of the Conservation Improvement Program.
“I’m proud of Minnesota’s longstanding attention to environmental issues, but here we need to raise the bar as others catch up. We want to be bold, dynamic…Sadly we have been complacent in thinking about energy and environment. But we’re reaching a tipping point, and we have to deal with it now.” Governor Tim Pawlenty addressing the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG) April 2007
It may not be very often that citizens feel they can point to real and positive results when it comes to government supported programs. We’ve been able to develop a great track record serving Minnesota nonprofits. The results of the EnerChange program are real dollars and real energy savings for Minnesota non-profits. But this could change if reductions in CIP funding become a reality. If you support the mission of helping Minnesota non-profits become more energy efficient thereby freeing more of their dollars for the programs that further support our communities, we need your help to keep our mission going. Please contact your State Representative and let them know.