Mpls Budget – Support Funding for Equitable Climate Goals!

 

Inclusive finance

Breaking – Minneapolis passes funding for clean energy & energy efficiency! 

A BIG win for Minneapolis residents happened in City Hall this week! The Minneapolis City Council approved a 0.5% increase for the city’s Franchise Fee to go toward energy efficiency and energy equity programs. The City of Minneapolis currently collects a fee, known as the Franchise Fee, from Excel and Center point in return for their ability to operate in the City and use the City’s facilities. The half point fee increase will unlock an annual $2.9 Million for the City to expand and create new energy saving programs.

On November 29th, December 4th, and December 6th, homeowners, renters, and business owners filled the public hearing room at City Hall in support of the increased fee. There were almost TWICE as many supportive testimonies given than expected. Additionally, there was not one testifier in opposition. The people have spoken for what they want and the city has listened!

Low income households and households of color often hold the heaviest burden on their energy bill, and with this increase we’ll be able to address these inequities with more resources that go toward energy saving programs. In the time of a changing climate, a just transition to a clean energy economy is more urgent than ever. This budget increase is a big win for both the planet and Minneapolis residents!

 

Reliably Fund Climate & Equity Goals!

  • December 6th  Help pack the room @ the second of 2 city budget hearings to show support for the city leveraging $2.9 million/year in revenue from the franchise fee for energy programs that benefits ALL energy users of ALL incomes and types (renters, homeowners, small business, industrial) to save money and energy.  There will be opportunities for public comment!  Public comment stories about why access to insulation, clean energy, better heating/cooling is critical are welcome! Wednesday, December 6 from 6-8:30 PM at Mpls City Hall. Invite friends on Facebook
  • December 8th  Listen as the city council & mayor finalize the 2018 Minneapolis Budget, and show your support for putting real muscle and resources behind our Climate & Equity goals with a dedicated funding stream gathered from the franchise fee increase. Friday December 8 from 9:30 AM - 12 PM RSVP on Facebook

Background

The Basics: The city is deciding whether or not to make a small (0.5%) increase in the gas/electric franchise fee to fund programs that will help all customers save $ and energy through their utility bills.

What is a franchise fee: A fee that the city collects from Xcel and CenterPoint in return for the companies’ use of public space for energy infrastructure-it is passed onto customers as a percentage of their entire electric/gas bill

Why it’s important: If we want to meet our Climate Action and equity goals, we need a dedicated, reliable stream of funding for clean energy and efficiency programs. Current programs don’t have Mpls on track to reach these goals and are distributed inequitably.

Bottom line : This franchise fee increase could fund a wide range of solutions and

programs to help Minneapolis residents and businesses access energy efficiency &

clean energy, while growing a local clean energy industry with a foundation of racial

and economic equity.

Facts you can use in your public comment

● Increasing the franchise fee 0.5% will leverage $2.9 million for the work of improving energy efficiency and access to renewable in Mpls

● It would create the potential for 10-40% reduction in energy bills or $200+ million/year in savings city-wide with targeted programs for small business and renters/landlords to ensure equitable access

● Average cost to residential customers’ monthly energy bill would be only 57 cents

● Existing whole-house retrofit programs reach less than 1% of energy users/year

● Minneapolis’ franchise fees are lower than neighboring cities and historically low-Minnesota also has some of highest employment/education gaps in US for racial minorities , which is especially important to address in the fast-growing green economy

● The franchise fee increase is endorsed as part of Mayor’s Budget and by Clean Energy Partnership Board

Examples of Stories you can tell in your Public Comment

● Your own energy success stories of participating in a program as a renter, landlord, homeowner, small business, or industrial customer and how that helped you save energy and improve your quality of life.

● Your current experience of inadequate heating/cooling or high energy costs

● Your thoughts about where we can spend $ we save if we cut energy use and costs city-wide through the ordinance change

● Your story about why you haven’t been able to access the existing programs to help lower energy costs and increase comfort (needing landlord approval, can’t afford it…)