Energy conservation and the use of renewable energy are important elements of Greater Mankato's healthy economic climate and future. We have created this page to provide information on the many resources available throughout our region. In September, the Envision 2020 Green Building Group, along with Greater Mankato Growth, conducted a survey to assess area businesses’ status and knowledge level of energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy. The information we received from the survey results led us to create this site. If you know of additional resources not yet included here, please email us, so that can share them with the business community.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offering small-business grants to clean the air
The Business Assistance unit (non-regulatory) at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering $320,000 in grants to help small businesses reduce their harmful air emissions. The MPCA will offer matching grant funds up to $100,000. Reducing your Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can help Mankato area businesses save money because it reduces the amount of hazardous waste you need to dispose of and be permitted for, use less chemicals in your operations, and have the ability to promote your green business to the local community. It also means less exposure and better health for workers, and helps keep us within federal ozone standards. MPCA has also partnered with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) to offer free technical assistance to determine the most effective way your individual facility or business can reduce VOC emissions. The grants will help small businesses in the Mankato area such as auto body shops, print shops, and dry cleaners take steps to help reduce VOCs.
Minnesota is hovering close to the national air quality standard for ozone and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to tighten the limit in the next couple of years. If that happens, the costs for keeping our air safe to breathe could go up and affect Mankato area businesses.
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy )
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy ) is a financing tool used to assist commercial and industrial businesses (including agri-business) with improvements that substantially increase energy efficiency. PACE allows businesses to make these fixture improvements without the up-front capital outlay. Costs for the improvements are paid back through a special assessment on their taxes. The increase in property taxes is offset by the decrease in energy costs so that the business sees no change in the bottom line.
Green Power Training for Manufacturers
South Central College is now offering training to manufacturers covering sustainability, energy efficiency, pollution solutions, waste reduction, water conservation and green chemistry. The Center for Business and Industry (CBI) can tailor a program to your specific needs or your employees can attend the full course offerings. Program costs may be covered by grants from the US Government. more info
- National database of incentives for renewables and efficiency
MN Energy Smart
Energy efficiency audit program for small business
- Quick tips for energy efficiency
- Analyze your energy toolbox
- Financial Incentives
Energy Matters Minnesota
Energy Matters Minnesota is a diverse group of businesses and business-focused organizations in Minnesota that want to be informed about the impact of energy policies and emerging energy issues on businesses, consumers, and the state economy. The organization, led by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, also serves as a public information resource to individuals and organizations and is an advocate on energy issues.
Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA)
Dedicated to their member communities and take responsibility for the efficient, cost effective and reliable delivery of electricity and services in an environmentally responsible manner. Visit smmpa.com to learn more.
EPA Energy Star Program
Tools for consumers, businesses, schools and all entities to assist them in identifying opportunities for energy savings and taking action to continuously improve.
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
Markets, Economic Development and Policy overviews for each state in the US
US Department of Energy
- Industrial Technology Programs (ITP) to assist companies in reducing their energy consumption by 25%.
U of M, MnTAP, Minnesota Technology Assistance Program
Program that helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and cost to improve public health and the environment.
South Central College
- South Central College will introduce GreenPOWER training designed to provide valuable skills in energy efficiency, environmental awareness, waste reduction and lean production techniques to current workers, new hires and unemployed workers. These skills are highly valued by today's manufacturers.
- GreenPOWER training informational brochure
- Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) - Provides free, confidential, non-regulatory, environmental assistance to small businesses.
- Minnesota's Opportunity & Challenge Report by Agricultural Research Utilization Institute
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loan Programs - Loans available to support clean and renewable energy.