Minneapolis offers financing for energy efficiency projects

The city of Minneapolis is offering financing for residents interested in making their homes more energy efficient.

Low-income residents can get a free Home Energy Squad visit, which includes things like checking for air leaks, installing programmable thermostats and weather-stripping and changing out light bulbs.

More than 7,000 Minneapolis households have already participated in the program. The city's sustainability coordinator, Brendon Slotterback, says officials are trying to gather more data on which neighborhoods are using the program the most and whether low-income areas have tapped into it less often.

"We are trying to figure that out: Who's been served by the program, where do we need to do more outreach and what are the best ways to get out to the folks who need these programs the most," he said.

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Slotterback says simple changes can help residents save money on their utility bills while helping Minneapolis reduce emissions to reach its climate change goals.

Slotterback says the program is part of a larger effort by the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025.

"They will be helping the city overall achieve our climate goals by reducing their energy use," he said. "But for the homeowner, what they're really going to see is energy cost savings and the enhanced comfort from sealing up leaks or putting in more insulation."

A Home Energy Squad visit for Minneapolis residents who don't meet the income requirements costs $70.