Xcel Energy announces 2014 Energy Efficiency Expo Awards

Area businesses recognized for outstanding electricity and natural gas savings

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Xcel Energy today recognized six Minnesota businesses for their outstanding efforts to save energy. The awards, presented at the company’s annual Energy Efficiency Expo at Saint Paul RiverCentre, honor commercial, industrial and small business customers in Minnesota for participating in Xcel Energy 2013 energy efficiency programs.

The winning companies lowered their energy costs and reduced their impact on the environment. Collectively, they saved more than 17 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 1.3 million therms of natural gas in a 12-month period. That’s the equivalent of powering 1,700 homes for a year.

Xcel Energy offers incentives, such as rebates and funding for energy efficiency studies, to its business and municipal customers to encourage them to make energy-efficient choices. The six companies recognized today chose more efficient equipment and processes for their facilities.

“Businesses are placing efficiency projects higher on the priority list now that they realize how much money can be saved,” said Karen Rhodes, Xcel Energy efficiency marketing manager.

To help provide ideas, we added a lighting technology showcase this year and are sharing more customer success stories through panel discussions, breakout conferences and keynote presentations. We want to foster those conversations that help generate great efficiency ideas.

The six award recipients are:

Large, commercial and industrial customers category

• Praxair Inc., Platinum award: 5.3 million kilowatt-hours saved. Praxair saved energy and money by improving efficiency and moving part of its large energy-consuming liquid nitrogen production process to off-peak hours.

• Gerten Greenhouses and Garden Center Inc., Platinum award: 521,000 therms saved. Gertens constructed a 114,000 square foot energy-efficient greenhouse featuring cutting edge energy conservation technology.

• Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, Highest Cumulative Electric Savings: 11.1 million kilowatt-hours saved. Metropolitan Council Environmental Services completed significant energy and cost-saving lighting projects along with multiple innovative custom projects.

• 3M Center, Highest Cumulative Natural Gas Savings: 773,800 therms saved. 3M Center continues to pursue natural gas and electricity savings through several initiatives. Much of the company’s natural gas savings have been attributed to the optimization of its boiler plant through equipment updates and heat loss mitigation.

Small business category

• SuperAmerica, Highest Cumulative Electric Savings: 992,800 kilowatt-hours saved. SuperAmerica replaced low-efficiency lights in coolers, freezers and canopies with energy-efficient LED lighting at more than 30 stores.

• Lilydale Senior Living, Highest Cumulative Natural Gas Savings: 33,500 therms saved. Lilydale Senior Living completed its senior apartment building project using modern energy-saving designs.

More than 700 Minnesota Xcel Energy business customers and trade partners attended the Energy Efficiency Expo, which featured teams of energy experts from Xcel Energy and outside organizations providing participants energy-saving ideas and opportunities for rebates and energy efficiency study funding. Highlights of the event included energy conservation workshops designed to help participants build an efficiency strategy to meet their energy-saving targets and lower their costs.

For more information on Xcel Energy’s energy efficiency programs, visit www.responsiblebynature.com.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.