Minnesota Commercial Baseline Study

This page describes the Minnesota Commercial Energy Baseline and Market Characterization Study. For questions about the project, please contact Jeannette LeZaks at 608.210.7156 or jlezaks@slipstreaminc.org. For questions about participating in the study, please contact Tom Fennessey of LHB at 218.249.7147 or tom.fennessey@lhbcorp.com.

What are the objectives for the Commercial Energy Baseline Study?

There are three primary objectives for this project: 

  • To characterize the energy efficiency in Minnesota for new and renovated commercial buildings.
  • To identify specific opportunities for increased energy savings through existing commercial energy codes. 
  • To identify specific opportunities for increased energy savings measures that go beyond existing commercial energy code requirements.

I’m interested in participating in the study. What is involved?

The study has two components:

  1. a review of the permit set of drawings and specifications, and
  2. a visit to the building site one or two times, ideally prior to project completion.

We are looking to identify building system components including windows, lighting and HVAC types and controls. The main thing we need from potential participants is permission to visit the site at a time close to substantial completion. The time commitment from participants in minimal.

How will the research study use my information?

All plan review and site observation data will be aggregated to develop high-level conclusions. No individual site information will be identified. All data will be kept completely confidential within the research study team.

Who is funding this research?

These projects are funded by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division Conservation Applied Research and Development Grant Program.

How would the results of this research impact the commercial real estate industry in the Minnesota?

Aggregated and anonymized results will be made publicly available through a written report, webinar, and presentations at conferences/events. The state anticipates that by researching the current energy efficiency levels of commercial buildings, the results will lead to help create new and better programming for energy efficiency in new construction.

How does this differ from the many other initiatives to date?

This study will help identify the gaps in code compliance and energy savings left on the table. Some states have employed their utility energy efficiency program mechanisms to capture these additional savings through code compliance programs that provide training, review, or design support. The primary emphasis for opportunities will be on increasing compliance with the current energy code.

Is the purpose of this study to work on or propose a new energy code in Minnesota?

No. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate gaps or opportunities for improved energy performance using the code that is currently in place.