Energy Efficiency: The Cheapest, Most Effective Way to Fight Climate Change
Investing in energy efficiency is the safest, cheapest, most effective way to reduce the threat of climate change and air pollution caused by our reliance on burning fossil fuels. Energy efficiency investments also save customers money on energy bills and create thousands of local, private small businesses jobs for companies that insulate our homes, install or make better windows & doors, and work with energy efficient heating, cooling & ventilation systems.
Wisconsin has long been one of the top 10 states in the nation for energy efficiency, bu ta recent ACEEE study found that our state has dropped to 23rd in 2013. We need to restore our position as an energy efficiency leader by resoring investments in energy efficiency and setting goals to decrease our energy use.
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Focus On Energy: Creating Jobs, Saving Money, and Reducing Pollution
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilites' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and busineeses 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.
Since Wisconsin's investor-owned utilities started investing 1.2% of their revenues in Focus on Energy in 2001, this program has created over 16,000 jobs, saved homeowners and businesses nearly $2 billion on energy bills, and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by 5 billion pounds, mercury by 32 pounds, sulfur dioxide by 18 million pounds and nitrogen oxide by over 17 million pounds.
In 2010 the Joint Finance Committee approved increasing Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program for energy efficiency to $120 million in 2011 and $256 million in 2014 (current funding is around $100 million per year). Increased support was tied to goals to decrease energy use by 1.5% per year. Unfortunately, a few influential legislators on the 2011 Joint Finance Committee passed an amendment in the 2012-13 state budget that wiped out increases for Focus on Energy, justifying the move by characterizing it as a “rate-hike.” This is misleading, since analysis shows that although rates may go up, BILLS DECREASE with added energy efficiency.
Restoring funding for Focus on Energy intact will:
- Allow more homeowners and businesses to save on energy bills
- Create at least 4,000 local, family-supporting jobs per year (i.e., from installers of insulation to heating and air conditioning to lighting to windows and doors)
- Reduce our dependence on fossil fuels
- Clean up our air and avoid the
environmental and health effects of burning more coal
Milwaukee Energy Efficience-Me2
Milwaukee Energy Efficiency program (Me²) is a federally funded program to help City of Milwaukee homeowners and businesses finance energy efficiency upgrades to their properties. Me² makes it easy and affordable to make energy saving upgrades such as insulation, air sealing, new heating equipment and lighting. With Me², you can pay for your upgrades as you save on your energy bills, in most cases with no money down. Me² helps you:
• Save money
• Increase comfort and safety
• Get the facts about your home or business
• Find personalized, budget-conscious solutions
• Do your part for the environment
Plus, Me² creates local jobs! http://www.smartenergypays.com/
Green Madison is an energy efficiency program that offers home and business owners in the City of Madison incentives and low-interest financing to make their buildings more energy efficient. To find out more visit the Green Madison website: http://www.cityofmadison.com/greenMadison/
Heating Assistance Programs in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)
WHEAP provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. The program is funded in part by the federally funded LIHEAP (low income home energy assistance program.) The program provides assistance to approximately 230,000 Wisconsin households annually.
Wisconsin Weatherization Assistance Program (WisWAP)
WisWAP uses energy conservation techniques to reduce the cost of home energy. Correcting health and safety hazards and potentially life threatening conditions is the first consideration in WAP activities.
1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or find out where to apply based on your county of residence