While the electricity delivered to your home includes increasing amounts of renewable energy, MVEC has optional programs that give you free and low-cost choices to do even more. For example, by purchasing Wind and Solar RECs, you further help reduce dependency on non-renewable energy sources, like fossil fuels. MVEC’s Energy Wise programs not only help you save energy, but your household will also enjoy monetary savings as well.
MVEC does not generate power in Jordan. It’s our job to deliver electricity from our 29 substations to your home or business. The co-op purchases this electricity from three wholesale power providers: Great River Energy of Maple Grove, MN; Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, ND; and Alliant Energy of Madison, WI. All three generate power from various sources. Below is the power mix MVEC is able to purchase as of 2021:
As we continue to research and implement innovative earth-friendly ways to help our members reduce their carbon footprint, below are the GreenCHOICE options MVEC currently offers:
- Purchase an Electric Water Heater and enroll it in MVEC’s Energy Wise Program. You’ll receive bill discounts.
- Replace your AC with an Air Source Heat Pump and enroll it in MVEC’s Energy Wise Program. It’s a much more efficient option than other heating sources and provides substantial bill savings while effectively cooling your home at dedicated ½ price electric rates, for substantial bill savings.
- Schedule a tune-up for your central air conditioner or air source heat pump to ensure efficient performance of your HVAC system. A tune-up can allow your cooling unit to run with less effort, increased efficiency, and less energy usage- leading to a lower electric bill. Rebate available
- If you use propane, add a Plenum Heater as part of a Dual-Fuel Program on Energy Wise for ½ price electric rates.
- Install a Wi-Fi thermostat in your home and utilize the schedule-setting features. We have rebates and bill discounts for you.
- Drive an electric vehicle, and charge it at off-peak times through MVEC’s EV24 Program. Your cost to travel or commute will be much lower than gas.
- Sign in to your SmartHub account to view your usage at least twice per month. Your usage data is available- down to the hourly level.
- Enroll in Paperless Billing. This is not only earth-friendly but also gives you the benefit of an easy way to file past bills. You’ll also receive the monthly Electric Eye newsletter digitally.
- Participate in our Green Source program to offset your usage via renewable energy credits (or RECs). With this low-cost option, you can fully offset your usage for an average of $1.00 – $3.00 per month.
Does TOU sound like it would work for you? MVEC will be offering a TOU rate pilot in the near future. Contact our Energy Specialist Michael if you would like to participate in this pilot.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
With renewable energy certificates, or RECs, electricity is not produced locally; renewable energy development is promoted indirectly.
The average household uses 1,000-kilowatt hours a month. By participating in a REC program, that electric usage would be completely offset in renewable energy with the purchase of:
- Wind RECs – $.10 per 100 kWh block
- Solar RECs – $.30 per 100 kWh block
You may purchase as many blocks of RECs as you would like, up to your average annual electric usage. Because you are not under any contract, you may leave the program whenever you wish.
MVEC energy portfolio currently meets Minnesota’s mandate of 20 percent renewable energy by the year 2020. When you purchase RECs on an individual basis, the credit is yours and goes above and beyond what the cooperative is already purchasing on our members’ behalf. Only those who subscribe to a program pay for GreenSource. Costs are not passed down to non-subscribing members.
Interested in building your own solar or wind system on your property? See the following section on Member-Owned Generation.
Many members are looking for alternative solutions to help them save money and protect the environment. In Minnesota, the state requires that 25% of utility electric energy sales will come from renewable energy sources by 2025.
MVEC will assist you in connecting your electric generation equipment with our system. Your safety and the safety of our employees is of the utmost importance – that’s why all interconnection applications are contingent on qualified equipment and require certification from an electrical inspector licensed by the State of Minnesota. Advanced planning is required, and MVEC recommends you contact us at the beginning of your interconnection process.
Use the Nova Power Portal to browse interconnection information, initiate the process, track the status of your project and learn more about installing your own renewable energy system.
Do your homework
Talk to others who have a similar system. Be sure to conduct complete due diligence on the economic benefits, legal issues, zoning regulations, maintenance, and operating costs. Get references on vendors before making a purchase. The State Board of Electricity requires renewable energy sources to be installed by a qualified licensed electrician, and MVEC requires members to submit an application to connect to its electric lines. The installation must meet the State of Minnesota Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards.
Wind power is created with 3-blade turbines, which spin electric generators. Typically, wind turbines are mounted on tall, 120 to 250-foot towers in order to access the best wind. Wind power installations can be expensive and tend to be best suited in high wind regions where the best possible production can be attained. For example, about 40% efficiency is possible in the Dakotas, but it tends to be under 20% within MVEC’s service area. Learn more
Solar power takes energy from the sun’s radiation and converts it into heat or electricity. There are a variety of solar options, including photovoltaic systems, which absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This clean and environmentally safe, renewable energy source is readily available because there is no need to drill, mine, or transport it. There are various systems available from flat roof to ground mount systems. Learn more
Notice of Cogeneration
The Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative Board of Directors adopted the Cooperative Minnesota Distributed Energy Resource Interconnection process, which was updated by the State of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Minnesota Statute 216B.1611 states cooperatives shall adopt an interconnection process that addresses the issues addressed in the Commission’s order. MVEC’s updated Cogeneration Policy reflects the adoption of the Cooperative Minnesota Distribution Energy Resources Interconnection Process (C-MIP). All new distributed energy resources will follow the C-MIP interconnection process as of June 1, 2019.
In compliance with MVEC-adopted rules relating to cogeneration and small power production, MVEC is obligated to interconnect with and purchase electricity from co-generators and small power producers who satisfy the conditions as a qualifying facility. MVEC is obligated to provide information free of charge to all interested members upon request regarding rates and interconnection requirements. All interconnections require an application and approval to become a qualifying facility. Any dispute over interconnections, sales, and purchases is subject to resolution by MVEC. Members with questions can contact Jeff Langeberg, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative, 125 Minnesota Valley Electric Drive, Jordan, MN 55352 or call 952.492.2313 or 800.282.6832
- SmartHub – An online account platform where you can access your household’s energy usage, down to the hour
- Paperless Billing – Go green, reduce paper clutter and simplify your life. There’s no need to file your statements at home—they’re available online in a secure location.
- Pay as you Go – This payment option allows you to add money into your account daily, weekly, or as your budget allows. With additional awareness to usage, this program helps members that choose to participate to use on average 10-12 percent less.
- Wi-Fi connected products such as thermostats or power strips
- LED light bulbs in place of less efficient options
- Room occupancy sensors (in place of light switches)
- reduced-flow shower heads
- compost bins
All of these items can have an impact that begins immediately when you begin to utilize them.
There are also Rebates for Energy Star Appliances, enrollment of certain products to Energy Wise programs (see Energy Wise section above), and tune-ups of central air conditioners or heat pumps.
- Nature.org Your Carbon Footprint Calculator
- Fashion Footprint The clothes you choose also have an impact
- Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
Energy Assessments are also available with our Energy Specialists – see contact information below, and several local agencies offer low-Income program support, which helps to replace inefficient products with more efficient options.
Electricity Map: Live CO2 emissions of Electricity Consumption
Electric Vehicle Buying Guides:
- Get Help with Home Remodeling and Updates
- NASA Climate Time Machine Interactively see how key climate indicators are changing over time
- Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database
- Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard