Energy Descent: How We Do It
Resources to Make the Transition to Clean Energy
Is energy descent even possible? Can we really reduce our energy use and make the Transition away from fossil fuels? According to Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson, we can. We can do it right now, with the technologies we have. He and his team have created a clean, renewable all-sector energy roadmap for each of the 50 states. You can see a clean energy vision for Minnesota and Rochester at The Solutions Project. So, the question is not can we do it, but will we do it?
Individual Action is an Easy Way to Start
Take a look at the Start Your Energy Action Plan page to get a baseline of your energy use and learn how to track your progress. You might want to use the personal energy descent planner from Transition Twin Cities to help you create a step by step plan. Transition Twin Cities can provide a group leader to walk you through the guide; contact us to arrange a free speaker. Then connect with the resources here or at the bottom of the page for a leaner, greener, cleaner energy future:
- Xcel Energy has a variety of efficiency programs and rebates that can help you reduce the impact of lighting, heating, and cooling, car charging, and more.
- The Center for Energy & the Environment provides practical assistance with energy efficiency programs and upgrades for homes and businesses.
Your neighborhood, your city or your county may have energy efficiency or insulation funds available. For example:
- The Sustainable Resources Center administers energy conservation programs for Hennepin County.
- Community Action Partnership administers energy conservation programs for Ramsey and Washington counties.
- A separate Community Action Partnership administers energy programs for Scott, Carver and Dakota counties.
Cooperative Energy Futures, an energy efficiency and community-owned clean energy cooperative based in South Minneapolis, is creating affordable and accessible community solar gardens.
Group Action Will Take Us Further
On the Live Lighter page, we talked about things groups can do (and Transition groups have already been doing). Who can you connect with to spur larger action?
Faith communities not only have buildings and land, they also have leadership and may have earthcare education resources already available.
Get an energy audit for your place of worship, and become a low-energy role model. Contact EnerChange for a free energy assessment.
- Start a Transition group for your congregants and for the community around your place of worship. It would be easy to start by engaging people in a Transition Streets workbook group.
- Host speakers on energy and sustainability topics. Better yet, host a neighborhood energy fair!
- Explore a clean energy partnership with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.
Local businesses can access – and create a demand for – financial and technical resources from local business associations, from the state Chamber of Commerce Energy Smart program, and from the federal government.
Municipalities have tremendous reach. Not only can they improve their own performance, following the steps outlined in Minnesota’s Green Step Cities program, but they can also serve a valuable information-sharing and connection role for residents and businesses.
Who Can Help?
This list may not be complete. If there are organizations or companies you would like to see added, please email the webmaster to request consideration for inclusion. Resources found on this website are for informational purposes only and listing does not constitute endorsement. Transition Twin Cities does not receive any financial support from companies listed here.
Join us on the journey to cleaner, safer energy.
|Sierra Club||The North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club seeks to advance our abundant renewable energy resources and end our dependence on fossil fuels to provide cleaner, healthier air and a stable climate. This group also works on the issues of climate change, conservation, and improving land use. The Clean Energy …||Climate Action, Climate Information, Electric Vehicles, Land Use, Plants & Animals, Renewable Energy, Transit Advocacy, Transportation||climate-action climate-information electric-vehicles land-use plants-animals renewable-energy transit-advocacy transportation climate boost-natural-systems energy|
|Clean Energy Resource Teams(CERTs)||Mission: to connect individuals and communities in Minnesota to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects. Good resource for community solar, provides financial assistance for local energy projects. Contact: Email: email@example.com||Energy, Energy How-To, Renewable Energy||energy energy-how-to renewable-energy|
|Citizen’s Climate Lobby||CCL is a good resource for sourcing speakers for educational events about alternative energy and clean community energy solutions. This is a good group to partner with for any sort of legislative efforts. Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org||Climate, Climate Policy, Energy, Energy Advocacy||climate climate-policy energy energy-advocacy|
|Windsource (Xcel Energy)||Windsource is a program through Xcel Energy that allows customers to opt to receive all of their energy from renewable wind sources. On average, this adds only $5 a month to a household’s energy bill. Contact: Email: email@example.com||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Renewable Energy||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to renewable-energy|
|Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment||MNCEE helps individuals, organizations, and entire communities improve their energy efficiency. Contact: Home Energy Programs: Kevin Horkheimer, firstname.lastname@example.org Financing and Loans: Brenda Yaritz, email@example.com||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to|
|Passive House Minnesota||Passive House Minnesota promotes the “Passive House” building energy standard by marketing, outreach, education, and advocacy. PHM hosts regular meetings, trainings, and open houses for the public to learn more about Passive House building. Contact: Phone: (612) 203-1629||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To||energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-how-to|
|Home Energy Squad||Home Energy Squad is a collaboration between Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy that offers assistance with energy upgrades delivered to your door in order to increase household energy efficiency. Contact: Home Energy Squad hotline: (866) 222-4595||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to|
|Sustainable Resources Center||SRC is dedicated to the universal right to a healthy, efficient home. Their vision is to help families live in homes that are energy efficient, free of mold, and lacking toxins and pests. SRC’s Energy Conservation program helps low-income households and individuals improve their energy efficiency in order to lower …||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Housing||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to affordable-sustainable-housing|
|Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties||The key energy conservation program sponsored by CAPRW is its weatherization program. This offers free energy audits to customers and then provides eligible customers with weatherization improvements to help conserve energy, maintain temperature, and provide a safe and healthy living environments. Contact: Phone: 651-482-8260||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Ramsey County, Washington County||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to ramsey-county washington-county|
|Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties||CAPSCD provides energy conservation programs to households, businesses, and communities in Scott, Carver, and Dakota counties. Their energy services include bill payment assistance, home energy crisis intervention, energy advocacy, and information about utility consumer rights. Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org||Carver County, Dakota County, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Scott County||carver-county dakota-county energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-how-to scott-county|
|Cooperative Energy Futures||CEF is a clean energy cooperative based in South Minneapolis that serves both the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. CEF develops community solar gardens, offers projects and services to help people save energy and money, and works with neighborhoods to build better energy futures together. Contact: Email: email@example.com , Phone: …||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency renewable-energy|
|Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light||MNIPL is working to build the interfaith climate movement through leadership development programs and action opportunities. MNIPL provides practical assistance with energy efficiency upgrades for religious communities, as well as leadership on community solar projects and energy organizing for faith communities. Contact: Phone: (612) 810-1577||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy renewable-energy|
|Energy Smart – MN Chamber of Commerce||Energy Smart is a program run through the MN Chamber of Commerce that helps small businesses reduce energy costs. MN Chamber of Commerce provides financial incentives to small business owners to motivate them to complete energy efficiency projects that may not have been possible without a grant. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: …||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to|
|Alliance For Sustainability||The Alliance for Sustainability brings municipalities and community volunteers together to create opportunities to scale up clean energy actions and community sustainability efforts. Contact: email@example.com, Phone: (612) 250-0389||Climate, County/City Plans, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Transportation, Waste Reduction||climate county-city-plans energy energy-advocacy energy-policy renewable-energy transportation wastereduction|
|Citizens Utility Board||CUB Minnesota is an advocacy group that provides educational presentations, and free utility bill clinics to help residents and businesses understand how they can lower their energy bills. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 651-300-4701||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-how-to renewable-energy|
|Clean Energy Economy MN||CEEM is an industry-led nonprofit dedicated to strengthening MN’s clean energy ecosystem focused on sharing the stories of clean energy businesses and employees and working across industries and political divides to support a prosperous economy for Minnesotans. Contact: email@example.com, Phone: (612) 743-9157||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy||energy energy-advocacy energy-policy|
|Conservation Minnesota||At Conservation Minnesota we deliver big results in two different ways. First, we impact decisions that affect large numbers of people, like the ones made by state & local governments. Second, we help thousands of people make personal decisions that, when added together, make a huge difference. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: …||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy||energy energy-advocacy energy-policy|
|Community Power MN||Community Power is a coalition formed non-profit interested in expanding energy options for Minneapolis as well as cities and towns across Minnesota. We support local renewable energy, environmental justice, conservation + energy efficiency, and democratic control of our energy system. Contact: email@example.com||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Housing, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-policy affordable-sustainable-housing renewable-energy|
|Environment Minnesota||Environment Minnesota researches the challenges confronting our environment and advocates for solutions. Through research reports, news conferences, interviews with reporters, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor and more, it educates the public about what’s at stake and what can be done. Environment MN helps people make an impact with petitions, …||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy||energy energy-advocacy energy-policy|
|Fresh Energy||Fresh Energy provides comprehensive info about Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy economy in areas of legislation, regulation, policy, and public outreach. Fresh Energy sponsors programs in the areas of energy access and equity, beneficial electrification, energy efficiency, clean power, and more. Fresh Energy can provide public speakers for events. …||Electric Vehicles, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Transportation||electric-vehicles energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-policy renewable-energy transportation|
|Great Plains Institute||The Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development is a partnership network transforming our energy system through innovations in energy production, distribution, and consumption. Contact: Phone: (612) 278-7150||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-policy renewable-energy|
|Midwest Renewable Energy Association||MNREA is a regional nonprofit that hosts the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair every summer in Custer, Wisconsin — appropriate for both a lay and professional audience. Sometimes it hosts a similar conference in the Twin Cities. MNREA also provides training in solar and battery technologies. It also promotes a solar …||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-efficiency energy-how-to energy-policy renewable-energy|
|Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership||MCEP is a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, and CenterPoint Energy to support the city’s climate action plan and 2040 energy vision. Contact: https://mplscleanenergypartnership.org/contact/||Climate, Climate Action, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Renewable Energy||climate climate-action energy energy-advocacy renewable-energy|
|Minnesota Renewable Energy Society||MRES is a membership-based nonprofit advocating for renewable energy in MN through solar technology education and demonstration projects. MNRES advocates for all forms of renewable energy with an emphasis on solar. It hosts a solar home tour every year. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (612) 308-4757||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy How-To, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-how-to energy-policy renewable-energy|
|MN350||MN350 is a volunteer-led climate justice organization working to organize and mobilize Minnesotans to take action on climate issues. MN350 has committees working on energy, food systems, transportation, pipeline resistance, and other areas of climate concern. Contact: Email: info@MN350.org, Phone: (612) 440-5350||Climate, Climate Action, Climate Justice, Climate Policy, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Transit Advocacy||climate climate-action climate-justice climate-policy energy energy-advocacy energy-policy transit-advocacy transportation|
|Thrive MSP 2040||Thrive MSP 2040 is the Metropolitan Council’s long term plan covering all seven metro counties and addressing issues that transcend any one neighborhood, city, or county. The plan covers topics including land use, energy, transportation, housing, and natural resources.||Anoka County, Carver County, Climate Policy, County/City Plans, Dakota County, Energy Policy, Hennepin County, Metro-Wide Resource, Ramsey County, Resilience, Scott County, Washington County||anoka-county carver-county climate-policy county-city-plans dakota-county energy-policy hennepin-county metro-wide-resource ramsey-county resilience scott-county washington-county climate energy|
|University of Minnesota Energy Club||The UMN Energy Club is a student organization for people interested in building a cleaner and safer energy system. The group hosts community events and speakers to engage the broader community. Contact: email@example.com||Energy||energy|
|Enerchange||EnerChange is a nonprofit that conducts FREE energy assessments to help other nonprofits and faith communities find ways to save energy. They work with you to implement solutions. The company has audited more than a thousand buildings and consistently found ways to save money and energy in every single building. …||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to|
|Metropolitan Council Local Planning Handbook||The Met Council has produced a Local Planning Handbook to help communities update their local comprehensive plans in the areas of land use, transportation, water resources, parks and trails, housing, energy infrastructure, resilience, health, economy and social connection. See the workbook at https://metrocouncil.org/Handbook/Plan-Elements/Resilience.aspx||Climate Policy, County/City Plans, Energy Policy, Food Systems, Housing, Land Use, Metro-Wide Resource, Policy & Advocacy, Preparedness, Resilience, Transportation, Waste Reduction, Water Protection||climate-policy county-city-plans energy-policy food-systems affordable-sustainable-housing land-use metro-wide-resource policy-advocacy preparedness resilience transportation wastereduction water-protection climate energy food boost-natural-systems|
|Post Carbon Institute||The Post Carbon Institute is a national level partner organization of Transition US. It promotes energy literacy, connects the dots between energy and the economy, and provides a reality check on the stories we’re being told about the energy systems we rely on.||Big Picture, Climate, Climate Information, Economy & Sharing, Energy, Energy Policy, Resilience||big-picture climate climate-information economy-sharing energy energy-policy resilience|
|The Solutions Project||The Solution Project provides an interactive map of renewable energy and how its benefits can be achieved in each of our 50 states.||Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Renewable Energy||energy energy-advocacy energy-policy renewable-energy|
|Xcel Programs and Rebates||Find ways to make smart energy choices and help lower your bill if Xcel is your electricity (or gas) provider. Xcel offers a variety of efficiency rebates, and the option to sign up for renewable energy sourcing through WindSource or Solar Rewards. You can also get discounts on energy efficient …||Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy How-To, Renewable Energy||energy energy-efficiency energy-how-to renewable-energy|
|Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy||The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy’s mission is to ensure that communities and policy makers have the tools and information they need to create just, sustainable energy and environmental policy. CEED researches vulnerability to rising energy costs and the many reasons it is a greater burden in EJ communities. …||Climate, Climate Action, Climate Justice, Climate Policy, Energy, Energy Advocacy, Energy Policy, Preparedness||climate climate-action climate-justice climate-policy energy energy-advocacy energy-policy preparedness|
|Passive House MN||A group of Minnesota-based Passive House professionals and practitioners who aim to educate about and promote the Passive House building energy standard. Contact +1 (612) 203-1629 or online||Energy Efficiency, Housing||energy-efficiency affordable-sustainable-housing energy|