MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota ENERGY STAR Challenge is excited to announce the selection of its community partners: the cities of Hutchinson and Woodbury. Each of these communities has demonstrated leadership in energy and sustainability initiatives and marks the beginning of lasting partnerships that will deepen efforts to increase building energy efficiency.

The Minnesota ENERGY STAR Challenge is a statewide project organized by the Great Plains Institute (GPI), the U.S. Green Building Council – Minnesota, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Energy Smart program. The Challenge is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and in-kind contributions from several utilities. The Challenge seeks to lessen environmental impacts that result from excessive energy use in our built environment.

“The City of Woodbury is excited about the opportunity to participate as a Community Partner in the Minnesota Energy Star Challenge,” said city Sustainability Specialist Jennifer McLoughlin. “With more than 10 million square feet of commercial/industrial buildings within the city, this program provides a valuable opportunity to work with building owners to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and increase the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the city. We look forward to getting started!”

John Paulson, Environmental Regulatory Manager with the City of Hutchinson, states that “the city is determined to continue its legacy as a progressive, community oriented city through its participation as a Community Partner in the ENERGY STAR Challenge. We are excited to leverage existing ties with the rich and vibrant business community that is constantly looking for ways to improve energy efficiency and economic vitality to encourage and support pursuit of conservation measures and ENERGY STAR certification.”

As community partners, Hutchinson and Woodbury will be working with the Challenge to educate and assist local businesses in energy efficiency, helping them to achieve ENERGY STAR certification and recognition. The Challenge partners will provide targeted technical assistance and incentives to eligible building owners and managers that will include: energy benchmarking assistance; on-site energy assessments; support in pursuing ENERGY STAR certification; and tracking metrics and results.

The goal of the partnership is to boost the number of buildings with ENERGY STAR certification in the state in a way that reaches a wider variety of buildings and attains a more geographically diverse portfolio of participants. Hutchinson and Woodbury are ideal partners in this projects and will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout the state.

The Challenge is open to all owners and managers of existing buildings located in the State of Minnesota, with eligible properties. The Challenge will run until January 2017, with recognition in April 2017.


The Great Plains Institute is a non-partisan non-profit organization that uses consensus-based strategies to discover and implement politically durable solutions to society’s most pressing energy and climate challenges. Learn more at www.betterenergy.org.

U.S. Green Building Council – Minnesota Chapter (USGBC-MN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community of members, advocates and practitioners that give voice to our commitment to improve human health, support economies and protect the environment through green buildings. The Minnesota Chapter is one of 79 USGBC Chapters across the country and serves the community by educating and advocating for green building principles and practices. For more information, visit http://www.usgbcmn.org.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Energy Smart Program helps Minnesota businesses find ways to save energy and connect to financial incentives. The program is funded through state-approved utility conservation programs. All services are at no cost. For more information, visit http://www.mnenergysmart.com.

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