Madison, WI – Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable resources program, is increasing its efforts to reach rural Wisconsinites in 2019.
“We want to ensure rural Wisconsin has the same access to Focus on Energy’s expertise and financial incentives as urban and suburban Wisconsin,” says Focus on Energy Business Portfolio Manager Erin Soman.
And the utility-funded program is putting its money where its mouth is this year, doubling financial incentives for many energy efficiency upgrades popular with farmers.
“Agriculture contributes over $88 billion annually to the state’s economy,” notes Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, Schools & Government Program Manager Heather Feigum. “Embracing energy efficiency in rural areas supports this major industry through reduced utility bills, increased cash flow, and the capital funds needed to offset ongoing equipment costs. Energy efficiency keeps money on the farm, and this directly supports Focus on Energy’s goal to use the energy and dollars saved to strengthen Wisconsin’s economy.”
The 2019 program enhancements include:
• Doubling the financial incentive for high bay lighting fixtures
• Doubling financial incentives for grain dryers
• Doubling the financial incentives for variable frequency drives (both constant and variable torque)
• Increasing financial incentives for ventilation/exhaust fans, circulation fans and high-volume low-speed fans
• Additional field staff to help farmers and trade allies access the program
The financial incentives help offset the initial investment and the new equipment provides energy and cost savings for years to come. All ratepayers of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund the program are eligible.
“Traditional marketing tactics that work for urban markets aren’t as effective for this customer base. Rural markets face unique challenges, and our messaging and outreach efforts need to embrace these obstacles and offer tangible solutions. With additional funding, increased technical support, and targeted marketing campaigns, we expect to see a notable increase in participation,” Feigum says.
Examples of common, agriculture-specific equipment/services eligible for incentives through Focus on Energy include: variable speed drives on milk pumps; variable speed drives on dairy vacuum pumps; exhaust, circulation and high-volume low-speed fans; commercial refrigeration equipment; dairy refrigeration tune-ups; irrigation pump motor horsepower reduction; and greenhouse climate controls.
The most recent independent evaluation found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy programs creates $5.93 in benefits for 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.