Eau Claire – The City of Eau Claire honored Focus on Energy at its third annual Sustainable Eau Claire awards ceremony Wednesday morning. Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s utility-funded, statewide energy efficiency and renewables program, was honored in the category of “Energy: Renewables, Efficiency and Conservation”.
“[Focus on Energy] was [an] easy [choice], just because of how penetrating [Focus on Energy] is. Whether it’s businesses, residential, the different programs you guys have,” said City of Eau Claire Associate Planner Ned Noel, noting the city has taken advantage of about $500,000 in Focus on Energy incentives since 2010 to help fund many energy efficiency projects.
“They have a commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, so we’re doing some work with them, planning some audits to help them out,” said Heather Feigum, Program Manager for Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, Schools and Government Program. “So we really have a partnership with the city to help them reach their goals”
The city also awarded one of Focus on Energy’s partner utilities, Xcel Energy, in the same category, noting the utility’s commitment to renewable energy.
“It was only natural with this year’s theme being “Toward a Renewable City” to honor our utility,” Noel said. “They’re a great partner here locally.”
“We’re really honored to be part of this award,” said Xcel Energy Community Services Manager Julie Thoney. “We’re very excited that our efforts as a company are recognized locally and we’re very excited to partner with Eau Claire in the mission of their renewable energy goals.”
The awards recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that are making a difference and creating a more sustainable Eau Claire.
Eau Claire County has one of the state’s higher participation rates in Focus on Energy residential programs at 6.8 percent. In addition, the county boasts the highest amount of incentive dollars earned through Focus on Energy residential programs at $18.45 per household. You can learn more about participation rates in the Eau Claire area here.
Focus on Energy offers monetary incentives to residents and businesses to help them offset the initial cost of making energy efficiency improvements. A contributing factor to the program’s high participation rate the Eau Claire region is Xcel Energy’s bonus program. The utility matches 60 percent of the Focus on Energy incentive for residential efficiency projects like improving air sealing and insulation and upgrading heating and cooling equipment. Xcel also offers a 50-percent bonus incentive up to $4,000 to qualifying businesses participating in some Focus on Energy programs.
The complete list of Sustainable Eau Claire 2018 award winners is below.
- Energy: Renewables, Efficiency or Conservation – Focus On Energy
- Energy: Renewables, Efficiency or Conservation – Xcel Energy
- Energy: Renewables, Efficiency or Conservation – David Donovan, Xcel Energy
- Environmental Education – Volume One
- Exceptional Natural Resources Steward – Royal Credit Union
- Exceptional Natural Resources Steward – Patty Scott
- Exceptional Natural Resources Steward – Mark Ruddy
- Green Products or Practices – Huebsch Services
- Sustainable City Staff – Jeff Pippenger.
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.
About the Sustainable Eau Claire awards
The awards are issued by the City of Eau Claire’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. They recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that are making a difference and creating a more sustainable Eau Claire. The theme this year is “Towards a Renewable Energy City”