Green Bay-based Contractor Honored for Partnership with Focus on Energy
Green Bay, Wis. – A Green Bay contractor’s commitment to energy efficiency and doing right by its customers earned it an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from FOCUS ON ENERGY®.
“Thank you so much for all you guys do. We appreciate it very much,” Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman said as he handed the plaque to Jim Eland at the award presentation Wednesday in Green Bay.
Eland Electric, a third-generation, family-owned company, has completed many lighting projects for its customers with Focus on Energy financial incentives, but the contractor stands out for its involvement in Focus on Energy solar projects, both at homes and businesses.
“On the business side, they are clearly the leader in the northeast Wisconsin [solar installation] market,” said Dave Nyquist, an Energy Advisor with Focus on Energy who nominated Eland Electric for the award.
“You’ve been a leader for many years, ahead of a lot of your competitors, and that’s to be complimented,” Sen. Rob Cowles told Jim Eland and other Eland Electric employees at the award presentation.
The company has worked on more than 50 solar energy projects with Focus on Energy since the start of 2018, in addition to 40 energy efficiency projects. The company also practices what it sells, installing rooftop solar panels and a tracker in the yard outside the business’ location on Holmgren Way in Green Bay.
“[Our leaders] always realized that we can’t be an electrical contractor and just install pipe and wire, put in light fixtures and receptacles. So, we’ve always tried to diversify what we can offer to our customers … solar and energy efficiency was one of those things,” said Jesse Machalski, a solar and energy efficiencies expert at Eland.
“It’s great that they [serve] such a diverse customer base, too,” Nyquist added. “We, as Focus [on Energy], have many programs, and they’re working with virtually all the different programs, from Large Energy [Users], to Multifamily, Business Incentive [and] Renewable.”
Wednesday’s award reception was on the property of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay. Eland installed a 112 kW solar system there in 2014 and is currently installing more arrays to bring the total to 210 kW, enough to offset about half of the electricity use at the Sisters’ building and property.
“As a recovering banker, I always think about ‘How do we invest our savings?’ Incredible savings from [projects like] this can be invested in new jobs, in greater energy efficiency. So we’re a big proponent of this,” Sec. Frostman said.
Focus on Energy offers energy expertise and financial incentives to residents, businesses, schools, farms and other groups to help them invest in energy efficiency and renewable projects. The benefits are available to all ratepayers of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that partner in the Focus on Energy Program.
“A lot of our industrial or commercial customers do have internal requirements on making improvements to their facilities, requiring a certain return on investment,” Machalski explained. “Without the aid of Focus on Energy, it would be tough to justify some of that. So, it’s been a great tool for us to increase our business, but we really look at it as it’s a great tool for us to help our customers.”
A recent third-party evaluation noted Focus on Energy runs the most-cost-effective statewide energy efficiency programs in the country. It also found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates more than $5 in benefits for the state of Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.
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.
Photo: Solar array at Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay.
Green Bay, Wis.