Izaak Walton League Press Releases

League and Other Clean Energy Advocates Tour Energy-Efficient Factory (11/3/09)

Business Leaders, Legislators, and Clean Energy Advocates Tour Energy-Efficient Factory

Upgrades Underscore Critical Role of Energy Efficiency in Growing Minnesota Businesses

MANKATO, MN – As the U.S. Senate considers clean energy legislation this month, Minnesota businesses offer real-world examples of how clean energy investments create local jobs and save money. AmeriStar and The Retrofit Companies held a factory tour today for business leaders, legislators, media and clean energy advocates to showcase energy efficiency upgrades at AmeriStar’s Mankato manufacturing facility.

In 2007, Owatonna-based The Retrofit Companies updated the lighting system at AmeriStar’s Mankato facility to be more energy efficient. “After our retrofit we are saving approximately $4,000 per year in electricity costs. The efficiency upgrade continues to pay for itself and generates significant cost savings for our company,” said Joe Bohrer, controller at AmeriStar.

“AmeriStar is just one of a growing number of Minnesota businesses that recognizes the enormous economic advantage of investing in energy-efficient technologies,” said Steve Kath, president of The Retrofit Companies. “For more than 17 years we have been putting our employees to work on green projects that save businesses, organizations and consumers money.” Clean energy jobs in Minnesota grew 11.9 percent between 1998 and 2007 – more than six times the 1.9 percent growth in Minnesota’s traditional job market. Nationwide, the clean-energy economy grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, compared with a 3.7 percent increase in traditional jobs, according to a recent Pew Charitable Trusts study.

“These companies prove that investing in energy efficiency saves money and creates jobs,” said Michael Noble of Fresh Energy, a nonprofit organization advocating for a transition to a clean, efficient and fair energy system. “Strong energy efficiency policies, like the one passed in Minnesota and those under consideration by Congress now, generate strong incentives that are good for the bottom line and create jobs.”

“Using America’s energy more efficiently is the fastest, cleanest and cheapest way to meet our country’s growing energy needs,” says Bill Grant, Associate Executive Director of the Izaak Walton League of America, a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to enjoying and protecting America’s outdoors. “Investing in energy efficiency will make the United States more competitive in the global marketplace and reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.”

Staff from the offices of Senator Klobuchar, Senator Franken and Representative Walz were in attendance as well as state legislators: Senator Sheran, Senator Anderson, Senator Carlson, Representative Brynaert, Representative Bly, and Mankato City Council members Stuehrenberg and Hurd.


Jenny Myers, Senior Energy Associate, Izaak Walton League of America, 651.649.1446 ex. 14, jmyers@iwla.org  

Kate Ellis, Senior Policy Associate, Fresh Energy, 651.294.7143, ellis@fresh-energy.org

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