A recent article in Finance and Commerce, Minnesota€™s business journal discussed the green initiatives one Minnesota County is implementing to save big bucks. Dakota County was recognized by the Sierra Club for its leadership in renewable energy programs. In a number of the environmentally friendly projects, a key resource was the use of geothermal heat pumps.In West St. Paul plans for a $7 million dollar maintenance facility will utilize ground source energy for the heating and cooling needs. Along with additional green technologies, the city expects to save $55,000 per year on energy bills for the 50,000-square-foot structure. The geothermal heat pump will be used to heat and cool both offices and bay areas on site.Dakota County is also planning improvements on three ice arenas in Burnsville, Eagan and South St. Paul. The ice arenas will each be equipped with ground source heat pump systems that could result in major energy savings. Eagan could save up to 1 million gallons of water per year due to the geothermal heat pump, while the Burnsville rink hopes to save $8,500 annually with more efficient lighting.Additionally, geothermal retrofits are planned at a number of municipal buildings in Inver Grove Heights and along with other building improvements the city stands to save $21,000 in electric bills and $50,000 in natural gas.All in all, six cities in Dakota County will save over $200,000 annually in energy costs thanks to green technologies.While the Dakota County projects may be large-scale city initiatives, green improvements are not limited to million dollar developments. Residential heat pumps are extremely viable alternative energy solutions for your own home, no matter its size or location. Contact a local geothermal heat pump installer to discuss your options for going green to save green.