The Boiler Substantially Lowers Natural Gas Purchased for the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility
Appleton, Wis. - Appleton is seeing the financial benefits of a new biogas boiler and gas compression system at the City’s wastewater treatment facility, its most-recent step towards increased sustainability.
FOCUS ON ENERGY® presented Mayor Tim Hanna with a check for $167,180 Wednesday afternoon, a financial incentive to help offset the initial cost of the City’s investment in reducing energy waste.
“[We’re] really proud of the people here and their focus, and the results of this pretty complex operation,” Mayor Hanna said shortly before accepting the check, adding praise for the partnership with Focus on Energy that made it possible.
“In order to really meet the needs of the community, you have to have those strategic partnerships, those collaborative partnerships. That is the quickest and most efficient way to meet our mission as a city,” he said.
The new boiler allows for the City to heat its anaerobic digesters and buildings at the wastewater treatment facility almost entirely from the biogas produced by the on-site digesters, offsetting natural gas usage and saving the City an estimated $103,000 annually.
“These are overhead costs and the more that we can apply good business practices and reduce our overhead, the better use of the resources that we have to do all the things we need to do,” Mayor Hanna noted.
Also, the estimated energy savings over the life of the boiler is more than 4 million therms of natural gas, which is the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking about 4,700 cars off the road for a full year.
“We want to be sustainable and respect our environment because we all live together,” said City of Appleton Project Manager Steve Schrage.
In addition to the incentive check, Focus on Energy provided Schrage and others involved in the project with energy expertise in the form of Energy Advisor Joe Cantwell.
“[Joe] is an expert in wastewater plants. He knows all about bio-gas utilization, bio-gas production, what goes into it,” Schrage said. “So, he was actually a subject-matter expert that I could rely on throughout the project.”
The check presentation coincided with a meeting hosted by the Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers (WAEE) for its members to learn more about the project and tour the site.
The treatment facility is supplied with natural gas by We Energies, one of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that partner in Focus on Energy. Residential, business and municipal customers of those utilities are eligible for the energy expertise and financial incentives Focus on Energy offers.
A recent third-party evaluation noted Focus on Energy runs the most-cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation. It also found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates more than $5 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced pollution and reduced energy costs.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.
We Energies (Wisconsin Electric Power Company)