IDEA Applauds Minnesota’s New Wasted Heat Recovery Law

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Legislation addresses energy waste in Minnesota’s current energy system.

The International District Energy Association ( commends Minnesota for new legislation signed into law (Minnesota HF 729) on May 23, 2013 by Gov. Mark Dayton that addresses the issue of waste heat in the state’s current energy system. Approximately 55% of Minnesota’s energy is currently lost to the environment, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (See:

“We applaud and congratulate Minnesota leaders for enacting this waste heat legislation. This common sense language will advance the deployment of highly efficient and resilient clean energy resources such as District Energy and Combined Heat and Power, which are proven, integrative technologies that can dramatically reduce energy waste, cut pollution, and strengthen local economies,” said IDEA President & CEO Robert P. Thornton.

“This policy makes economic sense by encouraging investment in energy efficiency and reducing waste in the energy system,” said Ken Smith, President and CEO, Ever-Green Energy of St. Paul, MN. “Further, the development of waste heat recovery opportunities creates benefits for customers, utilities, communities, and the environment,” he said.

By expanding the definition of “waste heat recovery” and adding “waste heat recovery used as thermal energy,” the Minnesota legislature opened the door for the recovery and reuse of waste heat from existing machinery, buildings or industrial processes, including combined heat and power, for heating or cooling.

The expanded recovery and reuse of otherwise wasted heat to reduce demand side energy usage will now be eligible to participate in utility’s conservation improvement programs and the resulting energy savings will be eligible towards a utility's natural gas or electric energy savings goals. Current technology allows recovery and reuse of this energy to benefit ratepayers, utilities, and the environment. This policy creates a timely opportunity to broaden the energy efficiency marketplace for utilities and large industrial users in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Energy Resources will lead the development of guidelines for program implementation.

About IDEA: Since its founding in Ohio back in June 1909, the Westborough, MA-based nonprofit 501(c)6 International District Energy Association (IDEA) has been informing, connecting and advancing the global district energy industry. Today, over 1700 IDEA members from 23 different countries demonstrate how district energy infrastructure delivers higher energy efficiency with greater reliability and lower CO2 emissions from clean, local energy resources. IDEA members worldwide are involved in the operation, design, construction, and optimization of district heating, district cooling, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems located in cities, communities and on campuses and owned and operated by public and private utilities, municipalities, hospitals, military bases and airports.

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