Utility savings gets bump by rebate, incentivesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota utilities and their customers saved enough electricity to power about 120,000 homes for a year, according to the state Department of Commerce.
The state's Conservation Improvement Program provides rebates and other incentives for businesses and homeowners who make energy-related improvements.
In 2008 -- the last year for which figures are available -- natural gas utilities saved enough gas to heat 34,000 homes. Together, the electric and gas savings add up to about 1.3 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions.
The Department of Commerce says the program also saves money: using less energy is cheaper than generating more.
In the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, the state directed utilities to save 1.5 percent of their average retail sales, beginning in 2010. Some utilities have surpassed the goal.