You play a crucial role in helping achieve sustainability goals. Make an impact by taking any of the following actions to reduce your environmental footprint, save money and support our vibrant community.
Resident Resources: Help Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
Get an energy assessment. Sign up for a Home Energy Squad visit to understand your home’s energy use and discover opportunities for savings. Burnsville residents are eligible for discounted visits.
Apartment buildings with more than five units can get a free building energy audit through Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy’s Multi-Family Building Efficiency program and you may be eligible for no-cost direct install of energy saving products and additional rebates.
Save money. Your electric and natural gas company may offer rebates and programs to help reduce energy use and save you money. Learn more at Xcel Energy, Dakota Electric Association, CenterPoint Energy, or Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative.
Better understand your utility bills by getting a free bill consultation from the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota. Staff will review your energy bills and discuss ideas to help you save money or get renewable power.
Learn more. Check out the Home Energy Guide from the Minnesota Department of Commerce for tips to make your home and remodel project more energy efficient.
Take mass transit. Over 50% of air pollution is from vehicles, but there are several mass transit routes in the Burnsville area. Visit Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) or Metro Transit for maps and schedules. Two METRO lines are in the Burnsville area are operated through Metro Transit: METRO Red Line provides service from the Apple Valley Transit Station to the Mall of America, and METRO Orange Line provides fast, accessible and frequent service to Burnsville to and from Bloomington, Richfield, and downtown Minneapolis.
Park & Ride. The MVTA operates Park & Ride lots, including the Burnsville Transit Station (100 East Highway 13, just east of I-35W) and the Heart of the City Park & Ride (126th St. and Pillsbury Avenue). Both have indoor climate-controlled waiting areas.
Electrify your ride. See if an electric vehicle is right for you with the Drive Electric Buying Guide from Drive Electric MN. Burnsville has three electric vehicle charging station on City property: Heart of City Parking Ramp (12751 Pillsbury Ave), Heart of City Parking Deck (101 Travelers Trail West), and Heart of City at Grade Lot (12451 Nicollet Ave).
Don’t idle. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, idling for 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the car and an idling car emits more pollutants than a moving car. The MPCA has more tips to increase your car’s gas mileage.
Reduce water runoff. Install a rain garden to capture rain and snowmelt before it runs off hard surfaces and into the storm sewer. Find workshops and grant funding available at Burnsville’s raingarden website. Also, use a rain barrel to capture rain water that you can then use to water your garden. Learn how to make your own or participate in a sale at Dakota County’s rain barrel website.
Plant natives and pollinators. Increase pollinator habitat by transitioning from turf grass to native plants and grasses. See which is right for you on our environmentally-friendly landscaping page and attend the Native Plant Market, held annually in spring, for inspiration.
Visit the Food Forest. The Grow Burnsville program aims develop solutions to food inequity in our community by increasing opportunities for locally grown produce and enhance access to open space and youth involvement.
Eat local. Experience Burnsville has a list of local restaurants and visit Burnsville’s two farmers’ markets – Thursdays at Mary, Mother of the Church (3333 Cliff Rd E) and Saturday mornings at The Diamondhead Education Center Parking Lot (200 Burnsville Pkwy W).
Install solar panels. Find out if your property is a good candidate for solar by using the MN Solar Suitability Map. Next, visit the solar directory from Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) to search for solar installers. Keep in mind, to install solar panels at your home, you must apply for a residential building permit. Additional information is available here: Ordinance Guidelines, Permit Checklist, and Inspections Checklist.
Support renewable energy. Even if solar on your home isn’t right for you, you can still participate in renewable energy programs. Subscribe to a community solar garden to reduce your electricity bill, or opt into Xcel Energy’s Windsource program or Dakota Electric’s Wellspring Renewable Energy program.
Reduce and prevent waste. Visit a Dakota County Fix-It Clinic to repair what you have before you toss and replace it. Also visit the Dakota County Reduce & Reuse Map for shopping and donation locations
Prevent wasted food. Food is 20% of Minnesota’s trash and the majority of that food could have been eaten or donated. Reducing food waste could save a family of four over $1,000 every year. Learn how you can prevent wasted food at Dakota County’s Prevent Food Waste website and SavetheFood.com.
Recycle food scraps. Burnsville’s food scraps drop site, located at 260 Civic Center Parkway, is a free and easy way to dispose of food waste and reduce your trash. Sign up today and you'll receive a welcome kit with a container label, compostable bags and details on how to drop-off your organics. Sign up through Dakota County at firstname.lastname@example.org or (952) 891-7557.
Install a Smart Irrigation Controller. Burnsville residents can receive a credit on their water bill of up to $200 by purchasing and installing a smart irrigation controller. Smart irrigation controllers may continue to save you money by reducing water use. Qualified controllers must be purchased between Jan. 1 - Aug. 15 and the application deadline is Aug. 31.
Sign up for the WaterSmart portal. You’ll be able to view your water use, get leak alerts, compare your water use to others.
Business Resources: Get Started with Energy Savings and Incentive Programs
The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) helps businesses develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.
Minnesota Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) offers a no cost, non-regulatory energy efficiency and waste reduction assessments are available to small businesses and public and private institutions through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Your utility company many offer rebates and programs to help reduce energy use and save your business money. Learn more at Xcel Energy, Dakota Electric Association, CenterPoint Energy, or Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative.
Do your part for clean water by making sure that you and your service provider are Smart Salting certified. View of the list of certificate holders and use this model contract to ensure safety while protecting the environment.
PACE Renewable Energy Financing - Financing options for renewable energy or energy efficient building improvements are available through the St. Paul Port Authority (SPPA) Program called Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). Financing through PACE is repaid through your property tax bill for a set period which eliminates the need for upfront costs. Find out more at the Clean Energy Resource Team's website.
Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan Program - The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) program provides financing to businesses for energy efficiency improvements.