Business Owner Overcomes Skepticism, Sees Big Energy Savings

Business Owner Overcomes Skepticism, Sees Big Energy Savings

Three Lakes, WI
WPS & Eagle River Light & Water

Three Lakes, Wis. – Focus on Energy’s Community Small Business Offering CSBO was designed to reach small business owners rural Wisconsin who were not very familiar with what the Focus on Energy program can offer. Bill Holperin at Eagle Craft & Hobby in Eagle River fit the profile.

“I was skeptical as usual when I got a mailing from our local light and water utility offering a free energy audit of our commercial buildings,” Holperin said. “But both buildings are nearly 100 years old and I made the call thinking maybe I could get a couple of useful tips.”

The CSBO offers free energy audits at small businesses whose utilities participate in the Focus on Energy program. Eagle Craft is a gas customer of WPS and an electricity customer of Eagle River Light & Water, two of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund Focus on Energy.

“Energy Adviser Bill Lobner [with Focus on Energy] inspected the buildings and made a number of helpful suggestions, but I about fell off my chair when he advised that a Focus on Energy rebate could help pay for things like new boilers or lights or smart thermostats,” Holperin said. “Two boilers in one of our buildings were at least 25 years old and very inefficient, which I knew. A new system was expensive, but the rebate paid for 25 percent of the project and Bill predicted we'll save a little over 50 percent on our annual heating bill!”

Focus on Energy, in partnership with the utilities, gave Eagle Craft of total incentive of more than $10,000 to help offset the cost of the high-efficient, modulating boilers installed by Badger Heating & Cooling, a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor. The equipment upgrade will also save the company an estimated 1,600 therms of natural gas annually, which means a decrease of $900 per year on its energy bills.

“Bill turned out to be a full-service advisor, helping me with the grant application and suggesting other updates which we'll likely work on next year,” said Holperin. “I'm sure glad I made that call!”

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

Eagle Craft

Three Lakes, WI

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