One of the most important projects that I’m currently working on in the South Metro is sharing the results of our energy survey with residents, local governments, and stakeholders. We mailed nearly 100,000 surveys to residents who receive their electricity from a variety of electric cooperatives and utilities throughout the state. The survey we conducted in the Dakota Electric Cooperative Service Area is what I’ve been sharing with local elected leaders in the service territory.
The energy survey results from the Dakota Electric Cooperative Service Territory were amazing to say the least! Although this was not a scientific survey – it gives an excellent glimpse into local opinions and attitudes towards renewable energy and energy conservation. In fact all of the energy surveys we conducted had the same clear response – South Metro area residents want access to clean and affordable renewable energy.
From the survey we conducted within the Dakota Electric Service Territory we found that 80 percent of survey responders were supportive of existing Dakota Electric Co-op initiatives such as the small solar facility built in Farmington last year as well as some of their initial wind energy projects that were some of the first in the state. More importantly, we found that 72-78 percent of our responders were very supportive of seeing Dakota Electric Co-op and Great River Energy take additional steps in the future to provide more renewable energy to their residential members and co-op members. For instance, 78 percent of responders would support Dakota Electric Co-op choosing to meet increased state goals for renewable energy of 40 percent renewables by 2030. And 77 percent of responders would support Dakota Electric Co-op requesting that Great River Energy use local renewable energy to replace their older power plants when they are retired.
These numbers say enough. They show that suburban residents understand the importance of reducing mercury in our water and helping to curb the impacts of asthma on our children by decreasing our coal dependency here in Minnesota. One way that you can help to get the news to your local leaders is to give them a call, write them an email, or meet with them in person to make sure they understand the importance of renewable energy and what it would mean for the health of your community and our state. Leaders are elected to represent the people and the people need to let their leaders know what it is we want. Safe, affordable, and reliable renewable energy for all Minnesotans is what we want.