Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers joined with lawmakers, Department of Administration and Public Service Commission officials, representatives from the utilities, and contractors to honor Focus on Energy for 20 years of partnering with Wisconsin utilities to reduce energy waste through energy efficiency solutions.
“Focus on Energy is a critical part of our work toward lowering energy bills for families, reducing our reliance on out-of-state energy sources, investing in more skills and job training, and creating good-paying jobs right here in Wisconsin. Especially today as folks face rising costs and industries face challenges getting resources and supplies, programs like Focus have never been more important,” said Gov. Evers. “Thank you to the Focus on Energy staff, the energy advisors and implementers, the auditors, the trade allies, and the Public Service Commissioners—this program is successful because of all the hard work they do every day focused on a sustainable energy future for Wisconsin.”
Lambeau Field was the perfect location to celebrate two decades of energy efficiency in Wisconsin. The Packers were the first large, and very public business to jump on board the Focus on Energy pilot program. Once other businesses and residents saw how the upgrades to the stadium boilers and lighting saved the Packers money, interest in energy efficiency grew, and Focus on Energy’s resources and financial incentives were in high demand. Businesses, homeowners and renters, farmers, and schools started to see how energy efficiency could not only reduce energy waste and save them money but also strengthen Wisconsin’s economy.
“Wisconsin manufacturers and large industrial businesses now have energy managers on staff who understand the economics of energy efficiency,” Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Chairperson Rebecca Valcq said. “When I visit, I am often told that the incentives they receive from Focus on Energy, or the projects Focus has helped with has informed their decisions to stay or expand in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin State Senator Rob Cowles was instrumental in shaping Focus on Energy and passing a law to strengthen the popular statewide energy efficiency program. In 2006, in a bi-partisan effort, Cowles helped enact Wisconsin Act 141 to ensure that funding for Focus on Energy was protected and that the program was thoroughly evaluated each year to ensure dollars spent were benefiting Wisconsin businesses and residents. The most recent evaluation shows that Wisconsin gains over $4 in economic benefits for every $1 spent by Focus on Energy.
“I am a strong supporter of Focus and all the work you do,” Cowles said. “It takes technicians, it takes people who really understand energy to do this important work for Wisconsin businesses and residents. Don’t we want our businesses to be competitive? Focus on Energy ensures Wisconsin businesses can grow and compete while reducing energy usage and waste.”