News and Stories

How to share a car and save the planet

September 1, 2011: Do you really need your own car? an increasing number of people in the Twin Cities are figuring out that they don't. Many of them have signed up for HOURCAR, the car sharing program run by the Neighborhood Energy Connection. Since its creation in 2005, the program has grown from 150 members and about a dozen cars to 1,550 and 29 cars, with another three to be added to the fleet this fall.

KARE 11 Video: Saving energy to save cash in St. Paul

July 20, 2011: ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A program aimed at reducing energy use and saving homeowners money has hit a milestone in St. Paul. "Four thousand is really something to celebrate," said Anne Hunt, St. Paul's Environmental Policy Director.

Going Green At Home Hits A Milestone In St. Paul

July 14, 2011: Home Energy Squads in St. Paul have hit a milestone, visiting their 4,000th home today helping to save energy and money. The squads go in to homes and make low cost upgrades — things like putting in new light bulbs, adding weather stripping and low-flow shower heads.

HOURCAR named MN Cup 2011 Semi-Finalist

Semi-finalists were announced Monday in the seventh annual Minnesota Cup competition, a statewide contest that rewards the newest and most innovative business ideas. The 47 semi-finalists will advance to the second phase of the contest in which they will compete to be named finalists in their respective categories.

HOURCAR wins the Mosaic Social Entrepreneurs Cup - a Division of the Minnesota Cup

June 17, 2011: Business competition Minnesota Cup named Hourcar, a car-share initiative, the winner of its social entrepreneur division. Hourcar won a $20,000 grant as the division winner, chosen out of four semi-finalists that promote social causes. The St. Paul-based non-profit allows its 1,500 members to rent cars per hour. Hourcar provides the cars and pays for the gas and insurance. Users pay for use per hour.

Energy Saver Rebate Program

June 1, 2010: NEC, rebates, other incentives pave way for energy- efficient home improvements.

Home Energy Squad visits 1,000th home

May 25, 2010: Xcel Energy announced this week that 1,000 homeowners have taken advantage of the Home Energy Squad efficiency program. Since the launch in January, the program has saved enough energy through its improvements to power 130 homes for a year.

Energy-efficiency programs still available for Minnesota homeowners

April 22, 2011: Believe it or not, spring is here, but some Minnesota homeowners already are getting energy-efficient for next winter. Ice dams last winter hugged the pitched roof of Jane Lundberg's house in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, leaving long, toothy icicles dangling from the edges and a few that broke off and shattered on the ground below. dams last winter hugged the pitched roof of Jane Lundberg's house in St. Paul's Midway neighborhood, leaving long, toothy icicles dangling from the edges and a few that broke off and shattered on the ground below.

Rebates cut the price of big-time efficiency upgrades

February 22, 2010: One of the smartest ways for homeowners to save money on major appliance upgrades is to hook into an energy efficiency rebate program. The Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC), a non-profit organization in St. Paul, Minnesota, helps local residents take advantage of Xcel Energy’s rebate programs that cut the cost of whole-house energy efficiency upgrades.

These people don't just share the ride; they share the car

January 14, 2010: My hat's off to Tom Altenhoff, 46, who needed to run errands after work Tuesday night. Altenhoff, who works for Hennepin County Human Services, pulled on his wool hat and turned up his coat collar before walking for nearly 30 minutes in the 14-degree wind chill from the Hennepin County Government Center. In a parking lot at Nicollet and Groveland, he jumped into a light blue Toyota Prius and off he went.

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