New properties need energy, and yes, that might mean natural gas

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Star Tribune Readers Write

It is laughable to many of us who participate in the building, real estate and wholesaling business of natural gas products to see people wailing about increased usage of natural gas from CenterPoint (Mpls. hopes to trim natural gas use, Aug. 28).

I can guarantee you that just about every new installation, retrofit boiler and AC unit has the latest efficient equipment installed. Why? It runs better. It costs up to 60% less to run. Most highly energy-efficient products are rebateable.

Building owners are the most cost-conscience investors around — they know their costs, and they have been installing this type of equipment.

Why is there more usage? The answer is so simple, but politicians always jump over it: The city is booming with new construction and retrofitting, and these properties need energy.

City leaders want more density, more jobs, neighborhood upgrades, low-income housing. How are we supposed to keep these folks warm in the winter? Build a campfire outside the building?


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I, along with our members, read with interest the recent Star Tribune article regarding energy consumption, including natural gas consumption.

First and foremost, owners and management companies of commercial office and industrial buildings share the concern regarding climate change. They continue to support voluntary efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of our members have completed or are making substantial investments to upgrade their properties to become LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). In recent years, the Building Owners and Managers Association and our members have helped shape and promote Minneapolis’ energy benchmarking and disclosure program and coordinated the Kilowatt Crackdown contest, which involved nearly 100 commercial buildings competing in categories for energy conservation. BOMA has also established an Energy & Environment Committee to engage with local, county and state agencies when issues such as energy efficiencies, funding or rebate programs, recycling programs, etc., are involved.

In the article, an opinion was stated that a growing demand for natural gas is due to the construction of new commercial and industrial buildings (and residential as well). This growth is a clear display of economic vitality for all of Minneapolis and shouldn’t be considered a hindrance. We applaud the city of Minneapolis for creating environmental goals and the many positive strides that have been accomplished. However, questions still exist. How realistic are these goals given our climate? Which sources of energy are the most efficient, acceptable and economical?

The most effective way to counter greenhouse gas emissions and to promote cleaner energy is for government, the utility companies and property owners to work in tandem and not introduce onerous building codes or mandates.


The writer is president and CEO of BOMA Greater Minneapolis.

Readers Write; Star Tribune; August 30, 2019

Post of original article HERE.

Keywords: Environment; MplsIssues; Neighbors