BY COUNCILOR JOHNSON:
RESOLVED, that the city of Duluth hereby finds that:
(a) There is a need for all energy consumers to work to conserve valuable energy resources through reduction in demand, especially peak demand for use of those resources;
(b) It is in the best interests of the citizens of the city, both as the owner of a natural gas utility and as a part of the greater Minnesota community to encourage such conservation;
(c) There is no program directed toward the conservation of natural gas resources available to commercial and industrial users thereof in the city;
(d) It is in the best interests of the citizens of the city and of the state of Minnesota and therefore a public purpose for the city to establish and fund a program to encourage the conservation of energy resources, especially natural gas resources, in the city.
RESOLVED, that the city of Duluth does hereby establish the commercial/industrial energy conservation program as described in the program guidelines, a copy of which is on file in the office of the city clerk as Public Document No. _______________.
RESOLVED, that said program guidelines are hereby approved.
RESOLVED, that the director of public works and utilities or his or her designee is hereby authorized to extend grants to commercial and industrial customers of the city’s natural gas utility under the terms and conditions set forth in said program guidelines, up to the amount provided therefore in the city’s budget, as amended.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this resolution is to establish the commercial/industrial energy conservation program, to establish guidelines therefore and to authorize the making of grants in conformance therewith. Regulations of the state of Minnesota require that the city expend an amount equal to 1/2 of one percent of its gross revenues from it gas utility on energy conservation programs. For some years the city has had an energy conservation program designed to assist home owners in paying for energy improvements but has had nothing directed to commercial or industrial users. In addition, the city’s present level of funding use would not meet the state’s requirements and, if the city does not expend the entirety of the required amount, the state can require that the unused amount be given to them.
This resolution authorizes the creation of a grant program aimed at commercial and industrial users. It would provide for energy audits of such users to be conducted to evaluate their various energy conservation needs and the relative payback available from the installation of various improvements. Once the design and cost of the improvements were determined it would make available to them up to 15 percent of the cost of purchasing the necessary materials and equipment and of the cost of installing them, up to a total of $35,000 per grantee. Payments would only be made on a reimbursement basis after proof of satisfactory installation of the improvements and payment therefore.
Grants would be extended to entities ready to install approved improvements on a first come-first served basis up to the amount allocated by the council each year with any projects not funded in one year eligible in the next year.