Detroit Lakes Public Utilities gives out $74,042 in rebates

Energy efficient changes equals $116,804 in rebate check to DL schools

Detroit Lakes School Board Chair John Steffl accepted an energy efficient rebate check on behalf of the district. Presenting the check was Detroit Lakes Public Utilities Energy Services Specialist Bridget Penton.<br/><br/>
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — In two years, the Detroit Lakes School District received $116,804 in rebates from the City of Detroit Lakes Public Utilities.

Residential homes and commercial buildings are also eligible for energy efficiency improvement rebates. The rebate program can include purchasing energy efficient appliances or lighting, as well as changing to energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Detroit Lakes Public Utilities Energy Services Specialist Bridget Penton added rebates can still be given for eligible items purchased in 2022. For more information about rebate opportunities, visit the Detroit Lakes Public Utilities website.

Penton said more than 100 rebates for residential and commercial customers were given out in 2022. Those rebates totaled $74,041, with a little more than $18,000 going to residential customers.

“These payments go directly to the customer in the form of a check, which allows them to use these rebate funds in any way they feel necessary,” Penton said.

When looking at decreased energy usage because of upgrades, Penton said the “total kWh saved through energy efficiency upgrade (is) 1,772,771.85 and 270 KW.”


The rebate program has been going strong for more than 15 years and is offered through the Bright Energy Solutions Program. The program is available to members of Missouri River Energy Services, such as Detroit Lakes Public Utilities.

“Bright Energy Solutions is a unique portfolio of energy efficiency cash-incentive programs that will help residential and business customers reduce their electric energy costs and operate more efficiently,” Penton said.

After pulling data from the past five years, the Detroit Lakes Public Utility has “given out $565,315 to its customers in energy efficiency rebate checks and (saved) 1,940 KW in energy,” she said.

During the monthly school board meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, Penton explained the Detroit Lakes School District received a rebate check in 2021 for $96,804 and a second check at the recent board meeting for $20,000.

The rebates for the school district came about by installing high efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances. Penton noted the projects followed the $49.9 million voter-approved referendum in 2018. She said a crew of energy efficiency experts walked through each school building to identify potential energy savings that could be done in conjunction with the district’s building improvement plans.

Penton noted the recent rebate of $20,000 was specifically for lighting improvements made at the high school.

“These lighting upgrades alone will save the school over 66 KW annually,” she said.

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