DFL proposal to reduce energy and water consumption receives its first hearing

The Senate Energy and Utilities Committee heard a DFL proposal this week that would establish a revolving loan fund in the renewable development account for making improvements to state-owned buildings that would reduce energy and water consumption.

If passed, this program – called the State Building Energy Conservation Revolving Loan Fund – would bring Minnesota into alignment with similar programs adopted in 31 other states. Loans would be made at or below market interest rates – including zero interest loans, and they would be paid back within seven years using the savings seen as a result of decreased energy and water consumption. The funds could be used for various projects including, but not limited to, installing LED lighting, digital controls for heating or cooling, water irrigation controls, and low flow toilets.

The bill did not receive any opposition when it was heard in either chamber, and it was laid over for possible inclusion in a larger omnibus bill to be assembled later this session. (SF 543)