Green Initiative

In March of 2008 the City formed a “Green Committee” made up of representatives of each city department and Randy Tuchtenhagen, Environmental Services, Freeborn County. The committee is recommending the adoption of a mission statement and vision for the City of Albert Lea as follows:

“The City of Albert Lea recognizes that a healthy environment and responsible use of the earth’s resources is critical to sustain the present and future population. The mission of the City’s Green Committee is to continuously protect and improve the environmental well-being of our community by identifying and implementing sustainable policies and practices in our daily work environment which impact positively on the environment.”

The committee also developed and recommended a list of energy conservation and environmentally friendly practices which the City Manager has implemented throughout the city’s operations. They are as follows:


  • Eliminate energy waste
  • Reduce the costs associated with energy usage.
  • Ensure the comfort for the staff and public
  • Ensure acceptable indoor air quality per industry standards
  • Promote recycling efforts
  • Decrease carbon footprint
  • Be responsible stewards of the environment


  • Every person is expected to be an “energy saver” as well as an “energy consumer”.
  • The staff is responsible for implementing the guidelines during the time that they are present in the office/facility.
  • The City Manager is responsible for the total energy usage city-wide.
  • The custodian is responsible for control of common areas (i.e. halls, restrooms, etc.).
  • The Fire Department is responsible for verification of the night time shutdown at City Center.
  • The Green Committee performs routine audits of all facilities and communicates the audit results to the appropriate personnel.
  • The Green Committee provides regular reports to the City Manager indicating performance with regards to energy savings.
  • The City shall develop and implement a preventive maintenance program and monitoring plan for its facilities and systems.

General Guidelines

  • All unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas will be turned off. Staff should make certain that lights are turned off when leaving the room, if empty. Utilize natural lighting where appropriate.
  • All exhaust fans should be turned off every day and during unoccupied hours.
  • All computers will be turned off nightly. This includes PC’s, printers, monitors, calculators, speakers and other electronics. Network equipment is excluded.
  • All capable PC’s should be programmed for the “energy saver” mode using the power management feature.
  • Screen savers will not be allowed on City computers.
  • All sound systems, if any, are to be shut off at the end of the day.
  • City doors shall remain closed when HVAC is operating. Ensure doors between conditioned space and non-conditioned space remain closed (i.e., hallways).

Air Conditioning Equipment

  • Occupied temperature settings shall not be set below 74F.
  • During unoccupied times, where possible, the air conditioning equipment shall be off. The unoccupied period begins when personnel leaves the area at the end of the day. It is anticipated that the temperature of the rooms will be maintained long enough to afford comfort for the period that staff remain in the room.
  • Air conditioning start times may be adjusted (depending on weather) to ensure room comfort when the day begins.
  • Ceiling fans should be operated in all areas that have them.
  • In all areas which have offices with doors leading to halls which do not have air conditioning, doors should be kept closed as much as possible.
  • Where cross-ventilation is available during periods of mild weather, shut down HVAC equipment and adjust the temperature with windows and doors. Cross-ventilation is defined as having windows and/or doors to the outside on each side of a room.

Heating Equipment

  • Occupied temperature settings shall not be above 68°F.
  • The unoccupied temperature setting shall be 55°F (i.e. setback). This may be adjusted to a 60°F setting during extreme weather.
  • The unoccupied time shall begin when the staff leaves the area.
  • Staff will refrain from using all personal heating devices at their stations of duty.

1. Set points are in accordance with ASHRAE 55 “Thermal Conditions for Human Occupancy”


  • All unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas will be turned off. Staff should make certain that lights are turned off when leaving the room when empty. Utilize natural lighting where appropriate.
  • All outside lighting shall be off during daylight hours.
  • All lights will be turned off when staff leaves the building. Custodians will turn on lights only in areas in which they are working.
  • Refrain from turning lights on unless definitely needed. Remember that lights not only consume electricity, but they also give off heat that places an additional load on the air conditioning equipment and thereby increases the use of electricity necessary to cool the room.


  • Staff will recycle all materials, office supplies, cans, bottles, etc., as possible. Recycling containers will be placed in the appropriate locations to aid in this effort. The Green Committee will continue to evaluate and monitor recycling efforts by city personnel.


  • Make double sided copying a standard practice.
  • Purchase environmentally-friendly, less toxic cleaning supplies.
  • Recycle all ink cartridges.
  • Install foam soap and timed air hand dryers in restrooms.
  • Promote reusable cloth bags at the Library.
  • Install sensor-lighting where feasible.