Our Comments Supporting the Minneapolis Clean Energy Franchise Fee
Dear Minneapolis Ways & Means Committee Members and staff,
On behalf of the Alliance for Sustainability and our 925 members in Minneapolis we are submitting this letter supporting the City of Minneapolis to increase the Xcel and Centerpoint franchise fee by half a percentage point in the 2018 budget and beyond to be used for climate and energy action
Why invest in equitable climate and energy action?
Minneapolis is the first City in Minnesota that adopted a formal climate action plan to achieve our MN and U.N. science based goals to reduce Co2 economy wide in our city 30% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.
Minneapolis is seen as a leader in MN and nationally on taking action for equitable transitioning to clean energy.
As you know Minneapolis, Minnesota, the United States and the nations of the world participating in the U.N. Paris Climate agreement are not currently on track to meet our CO2 reduction goals.
Climate scientists globally are urgently recommending rapid progress to achieve local, national and international climate targets to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius.
When Minneapolis increases Xcel and Centerpoint franchise fees by half a percentage point and dedicates the funds to be used, under the guidance of the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership and Energy Vision Advisory Committee for climate and energy action – Minneapolis will have resources to
- Rapidly ramp up implementation of our City’s Climate Action Plan – covering all areas including buildings, energy supply, zero waste and transportation
- Share knowledge on equitable climate and energy implementation with 30 to 40 additional cities that are now adopting community wide energy/climate goals in their Comprehensive Plans – with the support of our topic experts at our Alliance for Sustainability Planning for Resilient Cities workshops in 2016 and 2017 allianceforsustainability.com/sustainablecommunities
Recommendations for how to invest the clean energy/ climate action franchise fee – $2.9 million/year in revenue
- Achieve major Co2 reductions quickly with the cities’ biggest energy users, building upon the city’s energy reporting ordinance and through the Minneapolis Green Business Cost Share Program for energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction and enhanced outreach and energy saving opportunities to large commercial buildings measuring and disclosing their energy use
- Partner with community organizations and their NGO and business partners in the city’s priority environmental justice areas to make energy efficiency and renewable energy-related investment incentives for businesses and residential properties
- Ensure that energy programs that benefits ALL energy users of ALL incomes and types (renters, homeowners, small business, industrial) to save money and energy.
- Advance the City’s new proposed goal to acquire 100% renewable energy covering all municipal operations (electricity, natural gas, petroleum)
- Ensure that all residents that qualify access federal energy assistance and related energy conservation programs
- Innovate to ensure that a majority of Minneapolis residents and businesses (of all incomes and sizes) participate in and make the best use of the utilities’ energy conservation programs and City programs, helping more residents afford to own or rent their homes, and more businesses succeed
- Pilot affordable and accessible financing tools to reduce financial barriers
- Advance workforce development in the energy sector for all residents and businesses in Minneapolis.
- Expand energy conservation outreach and programming for single family and multifamily buildings, building on lessons learned from the Clean Energy Partnership’s community engagement pilot.
- Subsidize home energy assessments and energy conservation projects to make homes more energy efficient.
- Work with community partners to engage local small businesses in reducing barriers to energy efficiency program participation
- Promote multifamily building energy efficiency by measuring energy use and by making the most of utility programs.
Associated City Policies we recommend that the City of Minneapolis Adopt – over the next two years in close coordination with St. Paul, and other interested large cities (Bloomington, Richfield, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Edina, Golden Valley, Falcon Heights, Roseville, Maplewood, Woodbury, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Rosemount, etc.) in our metro region to equitably achieve our CO2 reduction goals, economy-wide, on time.
- Expand our Minneapolis energy reporting ordinance to include multifamily residential buildings
- Collaborate with St. Paul to adopt an updated Sustainable Building Policy requiring all new buildings being constructed in Minneapolis with significant city investment or variances to meet the MN SB 2030 sustainable building performance metrics. Integrate this policy with Inclusionary Zoning and Affordable Housing Policies.
- EV and PV solar ready new construction – Adopt requirements for new multi-family buildings, businesses and parking structures (over a defined size) to be prepared to easily add PV solar and EV charging spots.
- Update the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan to include land use and transportation policies for our city to rapidly move away from the use of petroleum – with travel demand management, shared mobility, electric vehicles, transit oriented development, complete livable resilient neighborhoods, biking and walking and with preparation for future fleets of autonomous electric vehicles. This will help residents reduce the need to own their own car while freeing up valuable land for other useful purposes.
- Adopt the goal to acquire 100% renewable energy to cover all municipal operations (electricity, natural gas, petroleum)
Sean Gosiewski, Executive Director 612-250-0389 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alliance for Sustainability, In the Greenway Building
2801 21st Avenue South Suite 100,
Minneapolis, MN 55407 www.allianceforsustainability.com