Weather Forecast


OTP issues its first incentive payment for energy savings

Submitted photo The City of Fergus Falls received Otter Tail Power Company’s first-ever Commercial Design Assistance Program incentive for its new Public Safety Building. Pictured at the presentation of the $30,300 check are, left to right, David Shultz, architect; Otter Tail Power Company Senior Commercial and Industrial Representative Jeremy Rham; Fergus Falls Mayor Hal Leland; and Fergus Falls Chief of Public Safety Kile Bergren.

Otter Tail Power Company has issued its first-ever Commercial Design Assistance program incentive payment, following the completion of the Fergus Falls Public Safety Building.

The CDA program encourages increased efficiency in new commercial buildings by providing incentives to eligible building owners and their design teams to exceed Minnesota’s energy code requirements in the building design and construction process.

Among the energy-efficiency strategies employed in the public safety building are a high-efficiency geothermal heat pump system, R-22 wall and R-42 roof insulation, carbon monoxide sensor control of garage ventilation fans, total heat-recovery ventilation, energy-efficient glass, variable-frequency drive pumping, efficient lighting with occupancy sensors and skylights, and a white roof.

The facility also is certified as a LEED building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the nationally accepted benchmark for high-performance green building design, construction, and operation.

“This building exceeded Minnesota State Building Code by 56 percent in terms of annual energy consumption,” said Jon Fabre, senior market planning specialist for Otter Tail Power, in a press release. “The building envelope, lighting, and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems changes we recommended for this project will pay for themselves in energy cost savings in less than five years.”

 Chief of Public Safety, Kile Bergren, said that he appreciates two things most about the new public safety building: “On a personal level I appreciate the use of natural light within the building, and from an administrative standpoint I appreciate the energy savings. We’ve only been in the building for six months, but we’re seeing even more energy cost savings than originally predicted.”

The CDA program allows qualifying building owners, architectural and engineering firms, and developers to participate in an integrated design process to increase energy efficiency in new commercial buildings.

CDA incentives help offset the cost of more efficient materials and equipment, and incorporating energy efficiency into building plans may help reduce equipment maintenance and replacements costs for additional long-term savings. The program also compensates design-team members for their time to explore energy-saving alternatives.