Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. § 216B.2423) requires Xcel Energy to build or contract for 225 megawatts (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the state by December 31, 1998, and to build or contract for an additional 200 MW of installed capacity by December 31, 2002. The same statute also directed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to require Xcel Energy to construct and operate, purchase or contract to purchase an additional 400 MW of installed wind-energy capacity by December 31, 2002, subject to resource planning and least-cost planning requirements.
'''''Note: All 2012 funding for the Solar*Rewards program and Minnesota Made Bonus has been reserved as of July 11, 2012. On October 1, 2012, the Department of Commerce ruled (Docket No. E,G002/CIP-12-447) to extend the program through 2015, but decreased the REC rate to $1.50/W.'''''
Beginning in 2014, Xcel must offer a solar production incentive for systems 20 kW-DC or less. The customer's system capacity may not be more than 120% of the customer's on-site annual energy consumption. The incentive rate has not yet been determined; the Public Utilities Commission must approve the incentive rate. The incentive will be based on the system's production and will be paid to the customer for 10 years. Each year for the 5 years of the program (2014 through 2018), $5 million will be allocated from the Renewable Development Fund for the production incentive.
'''''Note: Xcel is not currently accepting proposals for this program. The most recent application deadline was April 1, 2013. See the program web site for information regarding future solicitations. '''''
In addition to home energy audits, Xcel Energy offers rebates to its Minnesota residential customers for the purchase of natural gas HVAC systems, insulation and water heating equipment. Residential customers may also qualify for the Home Performance Rebate program, which offers incentives for comprehensive home improvements.
Xcel Energy offers Minnesota rebates to commercial customers who make certain energy-efficiency improvements, such as boilers, furnaces, equipment tune-ups, equipment controls and motors. Xcel Energy also offers design assistance. Xcel's Saver's Switch program for commercial customers encourages curtailment of energy usage during peak periods; participating customers have a device installed on their air conditioners, and the utility cycles the system on and off during periods of high energy demand. Customers who participate receive a bill credit during the summer months.
In addition to home energy audits, Xcel Energy offers rebates to Minnesota residential customers for the purchase of energy efficient HVAC systems, insulation, appliances and lighting equipment. Residential customers may also qualify for the Home Performance Rebate program, which offers incentives for comprehensive home upgrades.
Xcel Energy offers its Minnesota commercial customers a variety of rebates for energy efficient technologies. The incentive amounts for specified technologies can be found at the program web site and include motors, lighting equipment, HVAC systems, variable speed drives, building controls and others. Xcel Energy also offers design assistance for energy efficient buildings. Customers purchasing multiple energy efficient motors are now eligible for increased rebates.
This program is available only to Minnesota residents who take both electric and natural gas service from Xcel Energy. Customers must undertake a low-cost energy audit ($60) before implementing energy-efficiency improvements. The rebate amount will then depend on the measures chosen. The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program provides higher incentives for furnaces, boilers, A/C, and water heaters than Xcel's Heating and Cooling Rebates Program.
Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association provides financial incentives for its residential customers to purchase and install energy efficient HVAC equipment. Rebates are offered for qualified geothermal, air source, and ductless heat pumps; central air conditioning; ECM motors; and heat pump water heaters. Rebates for air-source heat pumps and central air conditioners vary based upon system efficiency. All equipment must meet program requirements and be installed within Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association service territory.