ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Earlier this month a new law was passed in Minnesota that requires utility companies to be at 100 percent clean energy by the year 2040. It is a path the city of St. Cloud has been on for several years already.

Back in 2015, the city set a goal to be 100 percent carbon neutral at all city-owned buildings. It took the city less than five years to accomplish that goal and now every city-owned building like the River's Edge Convention Center, the City Hall, the Library, and every other building is getting all of its electricity from a renewable resource.

Seventy percent of the energy is coming from solar arrays with the other 30 percent from sources like the wastewater treatment facility that turns their waste into energy.

Public Services Director Tracy Hodel says not only is the renewable energy good for the environment but there is a huge cost savings for the city's budget.

We're going to pay like three cents a kilowatt hour over a 25-year period, compared to a homeowner that's paying now on average 15 to 16 cents an hour.

Hodel says that price is locked in for the next 25 years, saving the city at least $1.5 million annually - or more than $30 million over 25 years.

The city's next goal is to have the entire community be carbon neutral for its electrical use by the year 2028. That means getting every homeowner on board with signing up for a renewable energy source from their utility provider. Hodel says the recently passed state law will help them accomplish this.

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The city is looking at putting out a survey to find out how many homes in the city are already using renewable energy for their electricity.

City of St. Cloud
City of St. Cloud

St. Cloud's long-range goal is to be 100 percent completely carbon neutral by 2038 including all transportation, which means all city-owned vehicles would need to be electric by that year.



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