For Release: 05/23/2011
Rosemount, MN - The United States Environmental Protection Agency has selected Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC), a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group (NYSE: TEG), for 2011 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award. The award recognizes MERC for its commitment to providing our nation's homebuyers with ENERGY STAR qualified homes by promoting energy efficient construction, while helping to protect the environment through its partnership with ENERGY STAR.
To encourage construction of environmentally friendly homes, MERC promotes its ENERGY STAR® Plus Homes Program, under which the company provides support, including rebates to builders for improving the energy efficiency of homes. It is available for any builder who is building a home that will have natural gas service provided by Minnesota Energy Resources. The goal of the program is to improve the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of a home by at least 8%.
In 2010, 248 homes participated in the program in MERC service territory. All 248 homes were built with improved energy efficiency as a result of MERC's analysis and recommendations. Of the 248 new homes, 206 achieved an Energy Star rating. Of those 206 Energy Star Rated homes, 75 improved their HERS rating by 8%, while 40 improved by 10%.
"Last year alone, with the help of programs like MERC's that encourage the building of ENERGY STAR homes, Americans saved about $18 billion on their utility bills and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 33 million vehicles."
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 12,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-782-7937.
Minnesota Energy Resources, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group is a natural gas utility headquartered in Rosemount, MN, serving approximately 210,000 customers throughout Minnesota.