New state energy efficiency goal starting in 2010 demands big energy reductions for MN consumers

Conservation and energy efficiency have long been priorities for Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc.

 However, Minnesota legislation makes saving energy an even bigger priority.   As part of the “Next Generation Energy Act,” signed into Minnesota state law in 2007 and taking effect January 1, 2010, electric utilities have been directed to reduce the retail energy they deliver to customers by 1.5 percent each year.  This may not sound like much, however the cumulative method chosen by the state to measure these goals means your electric energy use needs to be reduced to levels in the year 1992 within six years. That’s a daunting task for consumers who are purchasing big screen televisions, computer equipment and energy consuming electronics in record numbers. Big screen plasma and LCD televisions, for instance, typically use more than double the electricity than conventional (CRT) televisions.

The Next Generation Energy Act also contains renewable requirements. This renewable power section of the law requires that utilities get 25 percent of the total energy used from renewable power sources by 2025. This is why Arrowhead Electric Cooperative’s power suppliers, Great River Energy, have been investing millions of dollars in just the last few years to install wind mills in southern and Western Minnesota. It is one of the major reasons why your electric rate per kilowatt hour has been increasing. Failure to meet this objective could cause the state to reject Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s request for the next power plant to serve members’ needs.

To help Arrowhead Electric members meet their requirement to reduce electric usage, Arrowhead must spend money to promote programs and rebates which focus on energy efficiency efforts.  What does this mean for electric rates?  It means that every dollar spent on these programs is a dollar which could have other wise been used to help reduce a future rate increase.  Arrowhead offers energy saving Off Peak programs that can save money as well as energy. Whether you pursue conservation or energy efficiency, both approaches will help you reduce the amount of electric energy you use and therfore your monthly bill will be lower.

Learn more about Arrowhead’s energy saving Off Peak programs at http://www.aecimn.com or by calling Darlene or Joe at 218-663-7239 or 800-864-3744.

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