Tools and Best Practices for Local Energy Planning

APA Minnesota Chapter


Thursday, September 28, 2017
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. CDT

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Energy planning is a province in which few planners are trained.  Proper planning requires understanding existing conditions, identifying desired conditions, and creating a trajectory to achieve the desired conditions over the planning horizon.  This session will provide participants with an understanding of local energy planning best practices for each of these plan elements, and will describe how to use the LoGoPEP toolkit to assess local resources and develop a local energy plan or energy component of a comprehensive plan.  Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Assess existing conditions for four local energy resources: efficiency, solar, wind, and biomass.  The session will identify data sources and best practices for evaluating local energy resources.  Key data sources include the Regional Indicators Initiative – which has collected electricity, gas, and vehicle energy use data for dozens of Minnesota communities – as well as solar, wind, and biomass energy resource datasets that can help planners identify existing energy conditions and development opportunities. 

2. Set short- and long-range community energy goals.  To assist the increasing number of communities that are setting climate action or energy independence goals, this session will describe goal-setting best practices and provide specific examples of community climate and energy goals.

3. Develop a plan for achieving community energy goals.  This session will demonstrate the use of LoGoPEP’s “wedge analysis tool”, which enables planners to analyze community-specific impacts of various efficiency and decarbonization strategies and develop a portfolio of prioritized strategies that will meet their short- and long-range goals. The discussion will also cover: traditional strategies, such as development and design regulations and programs; cross-disciplinary approaches, such as enhancing utility and state efficiency programs; and introduce emerging opportunities for market transformation, such as electric vehicles and combined heat and power.


Brian Ross, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Brian Ross has 25 years of experience working on local sustainability and clean energy topics, including local government policy and regulation, state policy and rules, and energy utility regulation. Brian currently leads the Great Plains Institute’s solar energy market transformation working across the Midwest and nationally helping local and ... Read More

Becky Alexander

Confirmed Speaker

Becky Alexander combines performance services with architectural design in her work for the architecture and engineering firm of LHB. Becky plays a key role in several significant state-wide initiatives to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. Her research involves collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and synthesizing data at building ... Read More

Contact Info

Jane Kansier,