Focus on Energy, MG&E keep Ice Age Trail on the Right Path


Madison Gas & Electric

CROSS PLAINS – An incentive for efficient lighting from Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program has the Ice Age Trail Alliance saving energy and money.

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance oversees the development, maintenance, and planning of a 1,000-mile hiking trail known nationally for its diverse beauty. The non-profit organization’s staff operates out of an office building built in 2003 at 2110 Main Street in Cross Plains.

Lighting fixtures throughout the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s building were aging and increasingly costly, standard 32-watt fluorescent lamps.

Nelson Electric, a local contractor and registered Trade Ally with the Focus on Energy program, explained the projected energy and cost savings from retrofitting the lighting with LED (light emitting diode) technology.

“Conservation is at the root of our organization’s goals and being able to reduce our impact on the environment is particularly important to us,” said Mike Wollmer, Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Executive Director. “So, when Nelson Electric approached us with a plan to save on energy costs and do well by the environment at the same time, it made sense to pursue it.”

The payback on investment would be quickened thanks to a $2,240 incentive from Focus on Energy’s Small Business Incentive Program. The lighting project was completed in January.

“The entire experience was positive, including the efficient, unobtrusive work done by Nelson Electric, and the timely interactions with the Focus on Energy staff. It was everything a great collaborative experience should be,” Wollmer added.

By saving an estimated 2.9 kilowatts (7,843 kilowatt hours) of electricity in the first year, the Alliance also looks to save approximately $1,100 in energy costs. In addition to saving energy and money, the upgrades have helped to meet the group’s sustainability goals by reducing the equivalent amount of carbon annually sequestered by 7 acres of Wisconsin forest.

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) supplies electric and natural gas needs in Cross Plains. MGE and 107 other Wisconsin utilities partner with Focus on Energy to help eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help businesses and homeowners to implement projects that otherwise would not get completed (or completed much sooner than scheduled). The program’s efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage energy usage, promotes in-state economic development and conserves natural resources. Since 2011 the program has returned $1 billion for Wisconsin’s economy.

For more information on how Focus on Energy can help your bottom line, visit

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