Clean Energy Resource Teams to host workshop

Joshua Schuetz
Staff Writer

In the age of the Anthropocene, with climate change accelerating, finding ways to conserve energy usage and utilize clean energy have never been more crucial to the future of the human race.

The Clean Energy Resource Teams, a statewide partnership dedicated to helping individuals and communities find ways to save energy and connect them with clean energy projects, is hosting a workshop on this Thursday dedicated to just that.

“The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use, and there are huge untapped energy-saving opportunities in our buildings. But each building is different, with varying strategies for reducing the impact of energy costs on the bottom line,” said Chris Meyer, a coordinator for CERT.

A huge part of CERT’s mission is helping governments and school find ways to save resources, both in energy and money, by finding more efficient ways to utilize energy. Its central office is at the University of Minnesota.

That’s exactly what the workshop will be about as well, according to Dan Thiede, CERT’s Strategic Communications and Engagement Director. “It’s a half-day to help public building managers, facilities directors, elected officials, municipal staff, and others learn specific ways that they can save money by saving energy in their public buildings,” he said.

Ms. Meyer stated, “In addition to learning about benchmarking, energy assessments, and project financing, we will hear the story of Minnesota State Mankato’s Climate Action Plan.” The Climate Action Plan is part of Minnesota State Mankato’s attempt to create a more sustainable future for itself, the city, and the state.

There will be a number of speakers at the workshop, including Dr. Louis Schwartzkopf, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Minnesota State University, Mankato and Peter Berger from the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

After the speakers have finished, there will be a tour of the University Dining Center, so that attendees can see projects related to energy efficiency, including energy efficient daylighting, composting, and lighting.

The primary audience, according to Mr. Thiede and Ms. Meyer, will be individuals who manage or have interest in public buildings and the financial aspect of public buildings, including building managers, facilities directors, elected officials, finance directors, and students. However, anyone who wants to attend may do so.

The event is free for anyone who wishes to attend, but it is requested that prospective attendees register in advance. The workshop will take place on Thursday, Nov.1 from 9:30 a.m. to about noon at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in the Centennial Student Union, room 245.

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