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Hundreds of Minnesotans Converge in St. Cloud Feb. 20-21 to Save Energy, Save Money, and Build our Clean Energy Future

by Dawn Hegland on February 19th, 2013

Two-Day Event Helps Minnesotans Learn, Connect, and Act

Tue., Feb. 19, 2013, St. Cloud, Minn.—Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) is holding its 5th statewide conference at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center on Feb. 20-21 highlighting the energy and money saving efforts currently underway in Minnesota and the clean energy technologies that are powering our state’s future.




The conference is an exploration and celebration of successful energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and a coming together of hundreds of amazing people who are working to create a clean energy future in their communities and beyond. The event is focused on learning from the successes of others and connecting with people that can help you move your project ideas forward.


CERTs 2013 starts on Wednesday, Feb. 20 with in-depth workshops and an evening reception, and continues on Thursday, Feb. 21 with a full day of sessions, exhibition, and networking.


The two-day event begins on Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. with registration and lunch, and workshops beginning at 1 p.m. Day one of the event features three in-depth pre-conference workshops;

  • Utilities: Sharing Best Practices to Meet Conservation Goals;
  • Local Governments: Moving Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects Forward; and
  • Solar: Simple Steps to Solar Energy.

Workshops include speakers from all over Minnesota. Day one concludes with a networking reception at the Kelly Inn, running from 5-8 p.m.


Day two of the conference is as jam-packed as it is educational. Breakout sessions on renewable energy technologies begin at 9 a.m. One such session is Emerging Technologies: Electric Vehicles & Smart Homes. Attendees learn about emerging technologies, including electric vehicles and new building technologies (such as smart meters, phone apps, and remote control), and projects that are incorporating these technologies. Accompanying this session are three on-site vehicles: an electric, a clean diesel, and a flex fuel. This session also features Jukka Kukkonen of PlugInConnect and John Carmody of the University of Minnesota Center for Sustainable Building Research as speakers.

Simultaneous breakout sessions running from 9-10:30 a.m. are:

  • Geothermal & Air-Source Heat Pumps: Harness the Earth’s Temperature;
  • Wind Options: Residential, Community & Commercial;
  • Biomass Energy: Homegrown Heat for Minnesota; and
  • Solar for Your Community: Technologies, Resources & Financing.


A second round of breakout sessions focus on energy efficiency by sector, because there are things everyone can do to save energy—business, farm, school, home, and local government. The interactive sessions include speakers from Minnesotan businesses, cities, and organizations, the goal being to examine different energy saving techniques for each sector that cut both energy usage and costs. These sessions run from 10:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.


The two-day event culminates with final sessions on kickstarting community-driven clean energy projects. Attendees collaborate with others from their region of Minnesota (Central, Metro, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and West Central) to identify five energy efficiency or renewable energy projects (35 projects statewide) that can be implemented by the next CERTs Conference in Feb. of 2015.


As a whole, the 2013 CERTs Conference is a celebration of community accomplishments in the 10 years since CERTs began and looks to bring people together around clean energy for conversations and action. Along with all sessions, the conference also features access to 60 exhibitors looking to help move local clean energy projects forward in Minnesota.

All are welcome to attend the conference! You can register at the door both days.


Get ready to learn, connect, and act with 600 engaged community members
on February 20-21, 2011 in St. Cloud, Minnesota!
Learn more and see the full agenda at 


About CERTs: CERTs 2013 Clean Energy Convergence is the fifth biennial CERTs Conference. The Clean Energy Resource Teams—or CERTs—are a statewide partnership with a shared mission to connect individuals and their communities to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects. We empower communities and their members to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices for their homes, businesses, and local institutions.

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