Cold winter: Corcoran weatherizes

You’ve probably noticed the higher gas costs this winter. This is partly the deep cold. Most Corcoran homes are using more natural gas and high demand has sent prices soaring nationwide. Centerpoint has also raised rates to pay for repairs to an aging gas system.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Minneapolis Energy Options seeks DFL endorsement

A campaign to secure Minneapolis DFL support for the Minneapolis Energy Options resolution has been building momentum for months. Winning the endorsement at the City convention on June 15th will require at least 60% of the attending delegates voting yes. While Minneapolis Energy Options is non-partisan, the campaign encouraged supporters who identify with any party to attend their precinct caucuses and ward conventions with the goal of the securing endorsement of the ballot initiative. As the DFL is the only party that has not already endorsed that has had caucuses and conventions this year, and as 12 of the 13 City Council members identify as DFL, the convention coming up on June 15th is pivotal. If Minneapolis voters pass the Minneapolis Energy Options ballot initiative it would authorize the City to form a city-owned power utility if it can prove that a municipal system can deliver energy as affordably and reliably as the existing utilities. The authorization to form a municipal utility would provide city council more leverage to negotiate more localized renewable energy from Xcel and Centerpoint in time for the expiration of their franchise agreements in 2014.Getting the DFL endorsement would be a big strategic victory for Minneapolis Energy Options via the DFL sample ballot that is distributed widely to Minneapolis voters. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Neighborhood solar and insulation programs grow across the Twin Cities

A quiet revolution is taking place across the rooftops, attics and walls, and community meeting rooms of a number of Twin Cities neighborhoods. Groups of residents are coming together to make the transition to a clean, efficient, and community-based energy future, working together to tighten up their homes’ energy use and generate clean energy in the neighborhood. Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF), a co-op of community members, has emerged to help residents work together to cut costs and simplify the process of contracting home efficiency and clean energy improvements. As the first results of its projects emerge, several neighborhoods and nearby cities are adopting the model. In May 2013, Cooperative Energy Futures is launching four community energy programs across the Twin Cities.In early 2012, the CEF launched a neighborhood insulation group-contracting program, helping a group of South Minneapolis residents in the Phillips, Powderhorn Park, Corcoran, and Longfellow neighborhoods work with a qualified home efficiency contractor, SustainMax, to insulate and air seal their homes, cutting winter heating costs and summer cooling costs by up to 50% and creating a noticeable improvement in home comfort.“We already had an energy audit and knew we needed insulation, but we procrastinated: the CEF neighborhood insulation project helped us act. Continue Reading