Elk River has been known as "Energy City" since 1997 when the Minnesota Environmental Initiative chose it from over 30 other applying communities to act as a geographical focal point for the demonstration of efficient and renewable energy products, services, and technologies. In 2006, Energy City was trademarked by the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office and also received a federal trademark in 2008.
Energy City works with entities interested in completing an energy efficient and economically feasible project in the Elk River area. Such entities may include builders, utility companies, government agencies, non-profits, homeowners, or businesses.
In order to provide a clear focus for Energy City, a 10-year Action Planwas developed in 2014, encompassing many city departments and city partners. The Action Plan will be reviewed annually and welcomes the input from city residents and area businesses.