Have an energy vision? The city needs you.

The Clean Energy Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, is looking for candidates to serve on the Energy Vision Advisory Committee during the 2017–2018 term.

The committee helps make plans to meet the goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, which calls for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.

Rebecca Virden, a spokeswoman for CenterPoint Energy, said the group’s primary interest is making energy more affordable and reliable for everyone in the city. The committee’s members represent their community and advise the board of the partnership.

The board includes Mayor Betsy Hodges; Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations at CenterPoint Energy; and Laura McCarten, regional vice president of Xcel Energy.

“They’re really that critical community ear that we have within the partnership,” said Bridget Dockter, manager of policy and outreach for Xcel Energy. “We’re really just looking for that broad voice to represent the diversity that is Minneapolis.”

This year, the committee developed a community outreach template “to tackle cultural and language barriers to better serve historically underserved populations in energy efficiency,” Dockter said.

New members will have opportunities to take on special projects like the community outreach template and make suggestions to improve plans to meet efficiency goals based on feedback from their connections.

The partnership is looking for diversity not only in terms of Minneapolis wards but also in terms of expertise. The opinions of environmental justice organizations are just as welcome as those of developers.

“They are a representative of the community and we do ask that they relay information and outcomes of the meetings to the communities that they serve and represent,” Dockter said. “We’re not going to reinvent the wheel every two-year work plan, but I think there will be new things the group will add and fine tune.”

Beyond the boardroom, some committee members adopt even more responsibility by helping to promote energy efficiency in their neighborhoods, from better insulation to starting a solar garden.

“There are times in the winter when we are using more heating than Alaska because of our cold temperatures,” Virden said. “We have a lot of opportunity to create efficiency.”

Applications are due Sept. 12. More information and a link to the application are online at mplscleanenergypartnership.org.

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