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Seeing (Nothing) is Believing

A recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured a Montevideo, Minn., business owner who upgraded his energy equipment with the help of his local utility. On the surface, it may not seem newsworthy – thousands of businesses in Minnesota and across the country partner with their local utility to take advantage of energy efficiency rebate programs.

What made this story unique was just how much of an impact his energy efficiency upgrades made.

In the midst of one of the coldest Minnesota winters in years, this business owner had a zero reading on his gas meter – zero as in nada, zilch, nothing. Oh, and it just happened to be in January – deep in the heart of natural gas heating season.

The article received a number of reader comments; most of the commenters were quick to praise the business owner’s efforts.

He took advantage of energy efficiency rebates designed to help pay for energy efficiency equipment upgrades at his grocery store. The new equipment, specifically a new heat exchange system, made a significant impact on overall energy use. Combined with the energy efficiency rebates he received, his initial investment will pay for itself in less than 10 years.

Many times, those who install energy-efficient equipment in their home or office grow frustrated because they don’t always see big results – like a zero reading on their gas meter. But the fact is, every little bit helps, and the impact is real. Need proof? Xcel Energy has been able to avoid building nine medium-sized power plants in Minnesota thanks to our customers’ energy efficiency and conservation efforts since 1992.

For this business owner, the benefits of energy efficiency were very real, and very visible. And fortunately, he didn’t stop at just one improvement. He’s added new compressors and a new refrigeration system, all in an effort to save energy and money.

It’s great to see a small business owner embrace energy efficiency and conservation, taking as many steps as possible to reduce energy use.

Have you made any energy efficiency improvements at your home or office with drastic results? We’d love to hear about them!

Article by Tim Laughlin, appearing courtesy Xcel Energy Blog.