electric

New report: Minnesota can meet electricity needs with renewable energy and save money

Meeting Minnesota’s electricity demands mainly through renewable energy would keep the electric system reliable, drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save the average household thousands of dollars. That is the conclusion of a new study conducted by Vibrant Clean Energy for the McKnight Foundation. The study examined options to achieve Minnesota’s statutory goal of reducing…

What’s a Watt?

One of our roles at CUB is to help Minnesotans better understand their energy options. To do that, we also want to help people understand some of the basic, technical aspects of energy, such as measuring it. In most of our homes, energy as a resource is something we can’t see, feel, hear, or touch….

Great River Energy plans to reach 50% renewable electricity by 2030

Last month, Great River Energy (GRE) announced that 50% of its electricity supply will come from renewable resources by 2030. This will more than double the power cooperative’s current renewable generation over the next 12 years. GRE, based in Maple Grove, is Minnesota’s second-largest electricity generator behind Xcel Energy, which announced last year that it…

solar winter sunset

Market forces are driving electrification

A fundamental goal of energy policy has been to reduce the amount of electricity used as much as possible. That is, until recently. Now, the power sector is rapidly changing, more clean energy generation is coming online, and new goals are emerging. We still want to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of our energy…

Light Bulb Buyers Guide

The falling cost combined with the performance of LED light bulbs has transformed the way we light our homes and businesses. But, it has also generated a lot of confusion that was not there before. Now, instead of looking just at the watts, there are many different characteristics of an LED light bulb that must…

Updated Cost of Carbon in Minnesota

On Thursday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted 3-2 in favor of raising the cost of air pollutants from power plants: carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate pollution. The value receiving the most attention is the updated social cost of carbon emissions, increasing to a range of $9.05 to $43.06 per short ton…

Getting Ready for Higher Summer Electric Rates

With the Memorial Day weekend comes the unofficial start to the Minnesota summer.  A few days later, on June 1, higher summer electric rates begin for Xcel customers and continue through September. (Lower winter rates are in effect from October through May.)  Residential electric rates go up in the summer to correspond with higher demand,…

Regulators approve Xcel rate increase

Yesterday, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved a plan under which Xcel residential electricity rates will increase by 10.6 percent over four years. Customers are already paying much of the increase, in a 5.5 percent interim rate increase that went into place in 2016. This is the first multi-year rate plan that regulators have approved…