Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services thanked U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar Saturday for co-sponsoring legislation the company said is saving customers money.
Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, stopped at Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services with a half-dozen of the cooperative’s employees and was thanked for her bipartisan measure that enabled rural cooperatives to continue using large, energy efficient hot water heaters for conservation programs.
The measure became federal law in 2015.
Klobuchar’s measure prevented the Department of Energy from eliminating the manufacture of water heaters that can be used to save energy during peak energy times.
Klobuchar called the department’s effort an example of bureaucracy gone awry.
She described the process of passing the bill to the group and expressed appreciation of the end result.
“This was fun to work on,” Klobuchar said. “I’m glad it all worked out.”
Freeborn-Mower Director of Energy Services Mike Murtaugh presented details of the program, energy data and the positive benefits it has for the cooperative to Klobuchar, including that the water heaters enable the co-op to pass cost savings to its customers.
Approximately 1,400 customers have the water heaters.
Klobuchar said coming to Albert Lea allowed her to have a first-hand glimpse of her legislation.
“Every so often you find out something you did actually makes a major difference for people in their everyday lives. …” Klobuchar said. “It was great to talk to the experts here in Albert Lea and see how it’s actually saving their customers money, how it is more energy efficient, how it is better for the community and our energy use in our country.”
Klobuchar’s co-sponsor was John Hoeven, R-North Dakota.
Klobuchar’s visit was part of a two-day tour with a stop planned for Saturday afternoon in Steele County.
She capped her two-day tour Sunday with stops in Windom and Mankato, where she toured local nonprofits.