In This Issue

Quick Links
"I was very impressed with the Home Energy Squad team. I just love my new water saver shower head...I have never been able to get such great water pressure in the shower before, even with a complete plumbing overhaul in the past. And yet this saves water. Phenomenal! - Seaneen  
HOURCAR is here.


"Used HOURCAR for the first time today and I'm happy to say it was excellent! AND I was pleasantly surprised to see a State Parks sticker on the windshield (for next time...). Going carless remains a great decision. "
- Jennifer D.
a Facebook fan 




"Thank you so much for help at our home on your November visit. You were helpful, respectful and very passionate about your work. We appreciate your work!"
- Allison & Aaron L.



Have you joined the NEC online social communities? Join the conversations and learn and share tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.


NEC Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTube

HOURCAR Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Join Our Mailing List
Winter 2014
Energy News You Can Use
The Neighborhood Energy Connection Newsletter

Why Home Insulation is Important 

Lately, we've been hearing a lot of talk about cold houses. Reasons for the indoor chill may be an inadequate amount of attic and wall insulation or a lack of  insulation altogether. Believe it or not, we still find attics without any insulation. 


Insulation is important because it helps trap warm air inside your home in winter. Heat is a form of energy that seeks a cooler area, so it wants to flow out of your house in winter. Barriers such as attic and wall insulation and air sealing can help stop that energy from escaping.  


If your house is cold and drafty, it's a good idea to schedule a home energy audit. One of our skilled professionals will check your home's insulation levels and point out air leaks. Our Energy Advisor at Your Service program will even help you find a contractor and rebates for improving your home's insulation. Get started today and put an end to a chilly, drafty house.    

Image via

What You Need to Know Before Hiring an Insulation Contractor

Beware of insulation contractors who do not add sealing attic air leaks to their home insulation bid. They are in violation of Minnesota energy code, which states "Attic insulation may not be installed unless accessible attic bypasses have been sealed."


Adding insulation to your home is a great way to reduce energy loss, but energy and money is still wasted if air leaks are present. Attic air leaks typically occur around recessed lights, the attic hatch, wiring holes, and plumbing vents. The only way to stop air movement and heat loss is to have those areas sealed properly.


Before you start the bid processes on any home improvement project, read our Tips for Hiring a Contractor guide for helpful information.

Image via the Family Handyman.

From Foreclosed Property to Energy-Efficient Home

The NEC is partnering with the City of Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority to transform abandoned, foreclosed houses into lovely, energy-efficient homes for sale. We begin with an energy audit and Home Energy Rating System (HERS score) to determine the energy conservation measures to be incorporated into the overall scope of work. After the fix-up work directed by the City is completed, we provide a final inspection including diagnostic testing and a post-renovation HERS score.  


On a recent project, the post-inspection revealed the home's energy efficiency increased by 65% and the air leakage was reduced by 74%. The final HERS score was 28% better than code for new construction.


Energy specific upgrades on this project included:

  • Replaced furnace, water heater and central air with energy-efficient models   
  • Added a programmable thermostat
  • Added insulation to the attic and wall cavities  
  • Replaced windows with ENERGY STAR rated double paned windows
  • Installed ENERGY STAR kitchen and bath fans 
  • Replaced bulbs in fixtures with compact florescent (CFL) bulbs   
  • Added ENERGY STAR clothes washer, dishwasher and refrigerator 

Xcel Energy rebates for this project totaled $1,015. Projected energy savings for the new home owner are over $1,000 annually.   


The NEC has completed 200+ projects in partnership with the City of Saint Paul.

A foreclosed house undergoing energy efficiency upgrades.
HOURCAR Announces On-Street Car Sharing Locations
HOURCAR is pleased to announce the expansion of our fleet to include five vehicles in on-street locations in Minneapolis. This expansion brings the total number of vehicles in HOURCAR's fleet to 65 cars throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul.


The new on-street locations are: 

  • Southeast corner of Second Street North & Third Avenue N in the North Loop
  • Northwest corner of Lyndale Avenue & 26th Street
  • Northwest corner of Second Avenue South & 19th Street East, next to Stevens Square Park
  • Northeast corner of Elliot Avenue & 14th Street, next to Elliot Park
  • Southwest of the intersection of Willow Street & 14th Street, next to Loring Park


All the Saint Paul and Minneapolis HOURCAR hubs can be found at

HOURCAR's on-street hub in the North Loop, Minneapolis
METRO Green Line Grand Opening
June 14, 2014

Light rail between Minneapolis and St. Paul will link Twin Cities residents to neighborhoods and the two downtowns starting Saturday, June 14 with free rides and day-long community celebrations. We're excited to be just two blocks east of the Fairview stop in Saint Paul for those dropping off home energy loan applications or picking up their HOURCAR key fob. 


Accomplish all of Your Home Energy projects with NEC Financing


Several loan options are available:


Energy Smart Homes - Saint Paul
A zero-interest, 15-year deferred loan for Saint Paul homeowners and landlords. No income limits and no equity requirements.


Fix-Up Loan
Borrow up to $50,000 to cover almost any home improvement.

Fix-Up Loan (Unsecured)
Receive up to $15,000 for energy improvements and home remodeling. No equity required!


Energy Fix-Up Loan
A great choice for energy-only projects with financing up to $15,000. Our best interest rates for households outside the city of Saint Paul. No income limits.


Suburban Ramsey County Energy Conservation Deferred Loan
For homeowners in select Ramsey County cities. The loan is forgiven when when you own your home for ten years.

Neighborhood Energy Connection | 1754 University Avenue West | Saint Paul, MN 55104 | 651.221.4462 |

Copyright � 2013. All Rights Reserved.