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Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of our clean energy strategy. Today we help customers manage their energy consumption through one of the largest energy saving program portfolios in the United States. Customers save money, and we avoid emissions and the need to purchase or produce additional power.

Since we began consistently tracking energy efficiency results in 1992, we estimate our customers have saved enough electricity to help us avoid building more than sixteen 250-megawatt generating plants. We estimate that in 2013, the savings achieved through our energy efficiency programs helped prevent producing about 600,000 tons of CO2 for the year, as well as other emissions. With results like this, energy efficiency is proving to be one of the most cost-effective ways for our company to reduce emissions and meet growing clean air requirements.

2013 Energy Efficiency Program Results: Conservation and Load Management1
State Spending Electric Conservation & Load Management Gas Gas Conservation
    Participants Generator kW Generator kWh Participants Dth Saved
MN $92,351,529 2,171,287 127,203 494,686,290 599,067 787,918
CO $75,344,598 878,729 81,040 384,229,680 143,347 570,575
WI $10,276,525 11,370 6,825 53,818,211 3,738 103,150
TX $2,172,412 1,812 5,462 8,506,709 n/a n/a
NM $7,930,699 136,444 9,597 37,222,040 n/a n/a
SD $786,991 91,984 3,252 5,071,356 n/a n/a
MI $327,612 346 0 1,385,453 328 6,455
ND $282,302 285 589 15,871 1,428 11,338
Total $189,472,668 3,292,257 233,968 984,935,610 747,908 1,479,436
1 Achievements listed in this table are preliminary for 2013.

Read about our energy efficiency programs for customers.

Conservation at Xcel Energy Facilities

We believe it’s important for Xcel Energy to “walk the talk” when it comes to managing environmental impact by looking for opportunities to conserve at our own facilities. In 2008, Xcel Energy’s Property Services department developed the Sustainable Facilities Management program to align its activities with the company’s commitment to the environment. For 2014, three teams have been organized to manage a number of environmental impacts associated with our buildings:

  • Conservation Team
    • Energy management
    • Water conservation
  • Environmental Safety Team
    • Indoor air quality
    • Water quality—well monitoring
    • Green cleaning
    • Site product safety—GREENGUARD Certified
    • Lighting fixture and refrigerant compliance
  • Sustainable Design Team
    • LEED certification

The program’s accomplishments for 2013 include:

  • Reducing annual electricity consumption by more than 1.2 million kilowatt-hours. Since we began the program in 2008, we have reduced annual electricity consumption by about 12.9 million kilowatt-hours at Xcel Energy facilities.
  • Conserving natural gas use by more than 23,000 therms. Natural gas usage has been reduced by about 124,000 therms since 2011.
  • Saving more than 220,000 gallons of water. Since 2010, we have saved about 3.7 million gallons of water at Xcel Energy office buildings and service centers.
  • Developing an interactive training program as part of the corporate online curriculum to educate employees on simple steps they can take to reduce waste and energy use in the office.
  • Conducting audits for code compliance within designated smoking areas.
  • Completing well water compliance testing.
  • Completing proactive Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing at six sites.
  • Completing IAQ investigation testing at four sites.
  • Creating a full inventory of T12 light fixtures with a plan to eliminate them by 2015.
  • Creating a full inventory of R22 refrigerant used in heating and air conditioning systems with a plan to eliminate its use by 2022.

LEED Certified Facilities

We continue to seek LEED certification for some of our facilities. LEED is a U.S. Green Building Council certification program that recognizes sustainable building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. LEED certification has four levels—Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum—based on achievement in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environment quality.

The following projects are registered and awaiting final approval on certification:

  • Greeley, Colo., Service Center, LEED Commercial Interiors
  • Hugo, Minn., Training Center, LEED New Construction
  • Faribault, Minn., Service Center, LEED Commercial Interiors
  • Carlsbad, N.M., Service Center, LEED New Construction
Current LEED certified facilities
Building and location Building size Certification level Highlights
1800 Larimer Street, Denver, Colo. 500,000 sq. ft. LEED Commercial Interiors Platinum
  • 30 percent more energy efficient than traditional buildings
  • 35 percent of the building’s power obtained from renewable energy sources
  • 44 percent water-consumption savings over current code requirements
  • 38 percent more fresh-air circulation than required by code
Arvada Service Center, Arvada, Colo. 18,000 sq. ft. LEED Existing Buildings Silver for Commercial Interiors
  • Sensors installed to turn off perimeter lighting if sun is shining through windows and skylights or if space unoccupied
  • 30 percent less water usage
  • 20 percent of building materials produced locally
  • Infrared garage heaters interlocked to shut off if overhead garage doors left open
Ashland Service Center, Ashland, Wis. 34,500 sq. ft. LEED Silver for New Construction
  • 20 percent more energy efficient than traditional buildings
  • 40 percent irrigation water consumption savings over traditional systems
  • More than three-quarters of the regularly occupied spaces in the center have windows and 90 percent have views to the outdoors
  • More than 80 tons (more than half) construction waste was recycled
  • Site includes about 200,000 sq. ft. of vegetated open space
Alamosa Service Center, Alamosa, Colo. 24,000 sq. ft. LEED Certified Commercial Interiors
  • Diverted 95 percent of construction waste from landfills
  • Used local contractors and materials whenever possible
  • Enhanced commissioning to ensure equipment is running efficiently
Newport Service Center, Newport, Minn. 36,450 sq. ft. LEED Certified for Commercial Interiors
  • 35 percent reduction in energy consumption
  • 20 percent of all construction materials contained recycled content
  • 87 percent of all furniture was made from reused materials
Montrose Service Center, Montrose, Minn. 15,500 sq. ft. LEED Certified for New Construction
  • 28 percent energy savings over conventional buildings
  • Water retention pond used for landscape irrigation system
  • 31 percent water reduction over conventional buildings
  • Enhanced commissioning
  • 100 percent recycled construction waste use to gravel storage yard
Maple Grove Service Center, Fleet Services Building, Maple Grove, Minn. 32,200 sq. ft. LEED Silver for New Construction
  • 20 percent of all construction materials contained recycled content
  • 75 percent of construction waste was recycled or salvaged
  • 35 percent reduction in water usage compared to conventional buildings
  • Installed landscaping that does not require irrigation system

Learn more about LEED certification.