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Energy efficiency conceptIncreasing energy efficiency at your home, farm or business is an effective way of lessening your environmental impact and saving money at the same time.

The US Department of Energy offers an “Energy Savers” web page that provides consumers and business owners with energy saving information on appliances and electronics, designing and remodeling, electricity, heating and cooling, insulation and air sealing, landscaping and more.

Several North Dakota buildings and businesses have received the ENERGY STAR label from the Environmental Protection Agency.  The ENERGY STAR program provides an energy-utilization rating system for business and recognizes top-performing buildings.  ENERGY STAR also provides information and incentives to all Americans regarding energy efficient homes, products and more.  Click here to find builders and other partners affiliated with the ENERGY STAR program in your area.

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy assisting citizens in saving money and protecting the environment through energy efficient products and practices. In North Dakota:

■ 10 ENERGY STAR certified homes built in 2014

■ 674 ENERGY STAR certified homes built to date

■ 29 ENERGY STAR certified commercial buildings (including 3 K-12 schools)

■ 1 ENERGY STAR certified industrial plant (Cargill Corn Milling – Wahpeton)

Great River Energy’s (GRE) Bismarck office building is the first North Dakota Building to be awarded LEED Gold certification by the US Green Building Council. In 2014, North Dakota had 39 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings. Of these, 16 were Certified, 14 were Certified Silver, 8 were Certified Gold, and 1 was Certified Platinum – the highest rating. The Certified Platinum building is the Gorecki Alumni Building at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services provides state-related energy programs and information.  Their energy efficiency programming includes:

Weatherization Assistance Program, aimed at increasing the efficiency of homes occupied by low-income individuals and families

State Energy Program, which provides several efficiency-related programs including energy education, energy codes and transportation

The North Dakota Department of Commerce Office of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency is also working to administer the energy-related funding received through the federal stimulus package.

North Dakota State University energy website offers consumer and agricultural education in the area of energy efficiency.  Programs include:

“Top Ten Home Energy Checklist”

Information on Farmstead Energy Audits

Home Energy Use 101

Links to information on energy efficiency tax credits