Actions Residents Can Take
Whether you're a renter, new resident or longtime Edina homeowner, simple steps can save you money and time while benefiting the environment we all call home.
Take the Renewable Challenge!
Join the City's commitment to sourcing 100% renewable electricity for municipal operations by subscribing to Xcel Energy's Windsource Program.
This program is open to owners, renters and businesses. If you pay Xcel for electricity, you can sign up.
In 2023, the City subscribed to 12 million kWh of renewable electricity, and is challenging 1,200 households to match its commitment.
Subscribe to Windsource today, for as little as $6/month. First-time subscribers will receive a voucher for a free Home Energy Squad visit, valued at $50
Energy Efficiency Steps for Homeowners
- Provided by Xcel Energy and coordinated by the Center for Energy and Environment, the Home Energy Squad offers energy-saving opportunities to your home. A two-person team visits and completes tasks such as insulation inspection, test for air leaks, replace inefficient light bulbs, and more!
- The City of Edina offers a 50% discount on all visits, so your visit is only $50 (normally $100)! For income-qualified households (<$100,000/year) your visit is free! To sign up for your Home Energy Squad and learn more, visit Xcel Energy’s website or call 651-328-6220.
- Take action on your home energy audit by using Edina's Climate Action Fund to help pay for energy efficiency, electrification or renewable energy projects.
- Visit www.electrifyeverythingmn.org to lean about the health and energy-saving benefits of replacing natural gas or electric-resistance appliances with high-efficiency all electric alternatives.
- Contact the Electrify Everything Advisor service for guidance on completing projects and lining up resources, at [email protected] / 612-244-2486.
- Energy Assistance: if you need help paying electricity bills or weatherizing your home you may qualify for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) and/or Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). For details, visit the Sustainable Resources Center.
- Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County: Energy and water bill assistance
- Citizens Utility Board: Questions or concerns about your utility service? CUB staff provides expertise and education on related policy, programs, and service options that can help you save.
Steps Renters Can Take
The Home Energy Squad will identify energy-saving opportunities that can save renters, building owners and landlords money on utility bills.
Properties with 5 units or more: The Multi-Family Building Efficiency Program offers FREE energy audits and installation of energy-saving equipment in common areas.
Properties with 4 or fewer units: An energy audit is free or $50, depending on income. Call 651-328-6220 or visit xcelenergy.com/HomeEnergySquad for details.
Renters should talk to their landlord or property owner and encourage them to take advantage of these programs.
Rental properties are eligible for the Community Climate Action Fund, the City's cost-share program that can cover a portion of costs for improvements such as air sealing, insulation, upgrading furnace and air conditioning to an electric heat pump or even rooftop solar installation.
Residents should speak with their building manager or landlord to apply.
If you'd rather have City staff contact your landlord and discuss residents' interest, contact us for help.
Recycling and organics recycling are available for apartments, condominiums and townhomes.
Public Health staff also are ready to help solve recycling issues and implement an organics recycling program in multifamily buildings.
If you would like either of these for your building, call the Organics Recycling Coordinator at 952-826-1657.
Start Organics Recycling Now
Drop sites are available at:
- Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grand Ave.
- Centennial Lakes Park, 7499 France Ave. S.
- Community Garden, behind the Southdale YMCA on York Avenue.
Housing developments, nonprofits and businesses can get bike racks at half the cost of purchase and installation through the City's Bike Rack Program.
To request a bike rack for your building or workplace, contact Edina's Transportation Planner at 952-826-0440.
HOURCAR has launched a pilot program where multifamily buildings with 5 or more units can apply to be a host site for an electric vehicle hub that has two charging stations and two vehicles available for use at an affordable rate.
Renters can apply on behalf of their building, but a contract with the landlord or property manager is required for acceptance into the program.
If your building or complex offers a community garden space, take advantage of that to grow your own vegetables and flowers. If it doesn't:
- Consider asking your property owner or landlord about creating one.
- Or apply in early spring for one of the more than 50 plots in Edina's Community Garden. These sell out fast, so plan ahead.
Lawns and Yards
- Allow grass to grow longer, at least 3 to 4 inches. This creates a stronger root system.
- Mow less often, every 2 or 3 weeks even in summer. Your lawn will retain water better and be more resilient to drought.
- When you do mow, put your lawnmower on mulch to leave the glass clippings on the lawn. This recycles nutrients back into the soil.
- Water deeply less frequently instead of shorter durations daily. This builds better root systems and saves water.
- Water only in the early morning, evening or at night. Note that Edina has watering restrictions.
- Avoid mowing damp grass during drought.
- If you participate in No Mow May or let your grass grow tall (the legal limit is 12 inches), mow only 1/3 of its blade height at a time when you are returning it to your desired height.
Fertilizer and Pesticides
- Limit or stop using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides).
- Use organic fertilizers and only when necessary. Once or twice a year will do (recommended in spring and/or fall).
- Do not fertilize when heavy rainfall is in the forecast.
- Harvest your rainwater in a rain barrel or cistern and use it to water your plants.
- Install a raingarden using native plants to help absorb runoff, manage stormwater and filter any pollutants in the water.
- When purchasing plants or seeds, do your research beforehand! Consider these questions to ask.
- Create a backyard compost or brush pile made up of yard waste. This creates habitat and nesting sites for pollinators and helps reduce yard waste.
- Or leave your dead plant material, such as leaves, broken twigs, flower stalks and flower heads, in areas of your yard. Less work for you and it supports pollinators. Try it with your garden beds, side yards or other less visible areas.
In June 2023, the Edina City Code was amended to encourage and make it easier to replace lawns with native grasses and wildflowers. According to Edina’s 2019 Ground Cover and Carbon Sequestration Study, more than 25% of all land area within the City is made up of maintained or manicured lawn space.
Compared to lawns, native landscaping is easier to care for, requires less irrigation, benefits pollinators and wildlife, and helps the City with its Climate Action goals. Other changes in the code include:
- Allowing turfgrass and weeds up to 12 inches in height
- Reducing setbacks for planned landscape and natural areas
- Repealing a requirement to cut planned landscape and natural areas at least once per summer.
- Bee lawns
- Clover lawns
- Perennial groundcover
- Fescues (low-mow grasses)
Not ready to replace your lawn? Consider trying one of these turf alternatives in a small portion of your yard.
- See this native plant list (PDF) organized by blooming season
- Blue Thumb’s Plant Finder lets you sort by light, soil moisture, plant time and bloom colors and months.
- These nurseries and retailers (PDF) specialize in native plants.
Tip: Plant flowering species with different bloom times so pollinators can thrive from spring through fall.
Support pollinators and reduce your fall yard cleanup with a few easy steps.
Leave dead plant material, such as leaves, broken twigs, flower stalks and flower heads in areas of your yard, such as garden beds, behind the shed, etc.