Energy and new homes in Minnesota

What energy savings opportunities are available in new and renovated Minnesota homes?

About 13,000 new homes and several hundred multifamily buildings are built in Minnesota each year and many existing homes are added on to or renovated. How do these projects compare relative to energy code? What kinds of beyond-code energy savings opportunities are still out there and how might utility conservation programs help to capture them?

We conducted a field study of 100 Minnesota homes that were either newly built or substantially renovated to establish a baseline level of energy use. We modeled the energy consumption of each home to point out specific measures for energy efficiency programs. These measures included:

  • Ceilings
  • Above grade walls
  • Foundations
  • Air leakage
  • Windows
  • Heating/cooling (including heat pumps)
  • Duct sealing
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Water heating (including heat pumps)
  • Lighting

We then created a baseline that will help a utility determine where they can have the most influence on energy savings. 

Read our final report here.