Focus on Energy Honored for Innovation in Helping Farmers, Small Business Owners

News Release

01/15/2020

Madison, Wis. – The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) announced today that FOCUS ON ENERGY® earned one of MEEA’s 2020 Inspiring Efficiency Awards.

Focus on Energy’s disaster recovery initiatives are being honored in the Innovation category. It marks the third straight year Focus on Energy – Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable resources program – has been honored for Innovation and the fourth straight year the program has won an Inspiring Efficiency Award.

In addition to innovation, MEEA’s Inspiring Efficiency Award categories include leadership, marketing, impact and education. All the winner’s will be honored at an awards ceremony in Chicago next month.

The Focus on Energy disaster recovery initiatives honored include the Flood Relief Offering and the Farm Disaster Bonus.

The Flood Relief Offering was a special, limited-time campaign from Focus on Energy, put forward to help small business owners in parts of Wisconsin seriously damaged by flooding in August 2018. It offered double the normal financial incentives for qualifying projects in flood-damaged areas of 18 Wisconsin counties through the program’s Community Small Business Offering (CSBO), which focused on rural areas.

CSBO representatives went door-to-door in some of the identified areas to make sure they knew about the increased incentives for energy-efficient upgrades to things like lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, food-service equipment and process systems.

The Flood Relief Offering led to:

  • 333 small businesses/groups completing at least one energy efficiency project
  • 336 projects completed by 78 different Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractors
  • 1,000 separate energy efficiency measures included in those projects

Those that took advantage of the offer, like American Legion Post 116 in Coon Valley, received combined financial incentives of more than $1,034,000 from Focus on Energy.

In addition, Energy Advisors with Focus on Energy dropped off more than 500 free energy efficiency kits to small businesses in the affected communities. They included items like LED light bulbs, advanced power strips and faucet aerators.

The Farm Disaster Bonus was designed to help Wisconsin farmers left reeling after disastrous storms in early 2019.

The program offered a 25% bonus on top of its regular financial incentives to farmers facing reconstruction projects due to natural disasters, like those who had the roofs of their barns and other buildings collapse under the weight of heavy snowfall. Parts of Wisconsin, particularly in the northwestern section of the state, saw record-setting snow totals last February.

Farms that took advantage of the bonus, Like Hamlin Valley Farms in Strum, received bonus financial incentives for upgrading to more efficient lights, waterers and circulation fans during the rebuilding process.

A recent third-party evaluation revealed Wisconsin runs the most cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. The same evaluation found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $5 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.


 

A barn with a collapsed roof and severe damage to the barn is shown. Snow can be seen on the collapsed portion of the roof.
Damage to Hamlin Valley Farms due to heavy snowfall in 2019.

 

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