Since 2001, Focus on Energy has helped more than 2.8 million residents and businesses save over $730 million in energy costs. These figures account for thousands of individual successes—stories of energy savings, lower utility bills, and positive environmental impacts. Explore our latest success stories below.
The Chippewa Falls Area School District has been working with Focus on Energy for many years and has completed several projects including upgrading their parking lot lighting, pool boilers, domestic hot water system and installing variable frequency drives.
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) along with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, presented the School District of Crandon a check for $35,440 after instituting several energy savings measures.
The UW Medical Foundation participated in Focus on Energy’s Retrocommissioning program and received over forty thousand dollars in incentives for their energy efficiency efforts. The energy efficiency projects completed are expected to save UW Health’s Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin over 627,000 kWh of electricity and 24,000 therms of natural gas, effectively eliminating over 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. When you factor in energy savings and the incentive from Focus on Energy, the cost of the efficiency projects is expected to be recovered in just over six months.
On Monday, May 20, 2013 Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) of Fincantieri Marine Group, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening of the company’s newest facility, and to mark the completion of Fincantieri’s $73million investment in the shipyard. Chuck Goddard, President and CEO of Marinette Marine, welcomed employees, Navy and Coast Guard representatives, government officials, and local community members to today’s event. “With new facilities, computer-controlled manufacturing equipment, the best engineering minds in the business, and the industry’s finest master craftsmen, MMC is uniquely positioned to meet the industry’s challenges of today...and tomorrow.”
Wisconsin Public Service and Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, presented checks to Kewaunee County, City of Kewaunee, and Kewaunee School District for implementing energy efficiency upgrades. All three entities were awarded $25,000 grants from Wisconsin Public Service to spend on energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to the grants, all qualifying efficiency upgrades implemented in 2013 were awarded Focus on Energy incentives and additional bonus incentives from Wisconsin Public Service. The project is expected to have $48,900 in annual energy cost savings.
Wisconsin Public Service and Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, presented Howard Suamico School District a check for $171,748 after installing a new boiler at Lineville Elementary, air handler upgrades and new water heaters at Bayview Middle School, and energy efficient lighting upgrades at various schools throughout 2013.
Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS), presented Brown County with an incentive check for $133,098 following the completion of energy efficient upgrades including packaged rooftop units, boiler upgrades, efficient infrared heaters, lighting retrofits, and boiler tune-ups.
On April 17, 2014, the Multifamily Direct Install Program celebrated it’s 40,000 unit achieved over the last five years! The building was the Capital Centre Court Apartments in Madison. The tenant for the 40,000th unit is James Murray.
Staying ahead of the game, Baker Manufacturing, Evansville, WI recently invested in new melting technology that will better manage the melting process and reduce energy usage at the facility. The new equipment, assisted by an incentive of $156,029.24 from Focus on Energy, will save an estimated 35,075,000 kWh over its lifetime – enough to power almost 200 homes for 15 years. Baker Manufacturing will save over $300,000, annually, in energy costs on this upgrade.
While their football team was out winning the NFC’s North Division championship, the Green Bay Packers energy team, with the support of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, and several equipment installation vendors across the state, were busy winning the battle against wasted energy.
Stone House Development has a strong history of building energy-efficient multifamily projects in Wisconsin. As a WHEDA low-income housing developer and property manager, the firm is motivated to create efficiently-operating, low-energy-using housing for the long term.
With the help of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and in partnership with Xcel Energy, Flambeau River Papers (FRP) has implemented several energy efficiency projects that will save a total of $383,155 annually.
Construction Forms, Inc. fabricates assemblies used to pump abrasive materials such as concrete. The process involves plasma cutting and welding up to 24 inch diameter pipe. This generates a considerable volume of smoke and particulate matter. They could have installed additional, less expensive make-up air units and matching exhaust fans to improve indoor air quality, Instead, Hastings Air Energy Control, Inc. proposed a system of filtration units to improve indoor air quality. These units filter out the weld and plasma smoke without exhausting air to the outdoors. Hastings, a registered Focus on Energy Trade Ally suggested to contact Focus on Energy for assistance with the project. The project is expected to have the following annual energy cost savings: 145,789 Therms, 191,793 kWh, and 28.77 kW.
Focus on Energy announced the locations of the most efficient new homes built in 2013 and six of the top ten are located in the Eco Village development in River Falls, Wisconsin.
Prairie Farm School District's participation in Focus on Energy will save them an estimated 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and reduce the demand on the power grid during the peak summer months. The upgrades will reduce the school district’s energy bills by approximately $7,000 each year. The Prairie Farm School District took advantage of incentives through Focus on Energy’s Lighting programs, as well as cost savings of the new Exterior Lighting Optimization program, where Focus on Energy covers the labor costs of the participating trade ally for installation of cost-effective exterior lighting.
With one project already completed earlier this year through Focus on Energy, Jones Sign recently decided to complete yet another energy efficient project. With the encouragement of trade ally Green Power Technology Solutions, Jones Sign decided to take on a lighting project for their billboard signs across Northeast Wisconsin. "Induction lighting was the best lighting application for us," said John Mortensen of Jones Sign. "It provides perfectly even lighting across our billboard faces without any dim or bright areas. The fact that it's a sustainable solution made it a no-brainer. Induction lighting lowers our annual energy usage by over 650,000 kilowatt hours and reduces our energy cost by over $50,000 a year. Coupled with the energy rebates, it was a sound decision for us both as a company, and for our local environment. It helps us do our part to reduce our carbon footprint."
On August 18th Wisconsin Public Service and Focus on Energy presented Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross a check for $73,704 after installing a 112 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This system includes 416 solar panels and is among the largest systems installed in the state. By completing this project, The Sisters are expected to save more than 147,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity —enough energy to power 14 Wisconsin homes for a year.
For over a century, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, WI has been serving the community with a rich tradition of healing. In addition to helping people, St. Elizabeth Hospital has also become a leader in helping the environment. They were one of the first Wisconsin hospitals to incorporate environmentally friendly and sustainable concepts into their facilities, and over the past several years have been working with Focus on Energy to implement energy saving technologies. 2014 projects included installing new boilers, chillers, a heat recovery system, ENERGY STAR® kitchen ovens, freezers, refrigerators, ice machines, and variable frequency drives that more efficiently control pumps and motors. Additionally, LED lighting and occupancy sensors were installed throughout the hospital. These upgrades are projected to save St. Elizabeth over $221,660 dollars in energy costs with actual savings of 900,002 kWh and 262,297 therms. In coordination with We Energies, Focus on Energy provided over $292,000 in incentives to help complete these projects.
On November 13, 2014, Focus on Energy’s Express Energy Efficiency program celebrated a significant milestone. Stephen Sydow, an Eau Claire resident and Xcel Energy customer, was the 50,000th homeowner to enjoy the benefits of the program in Wisconsin.
In January 2014, Focus on Energy Trade Ally CMJ Lighting & Electrical, out of Sussex, contacted Milwaukee’s popular bar/restaurant, Points East Pub, offering to perform a free lighting assessment. After CMJ Lighting & Electrical performed the assessment, they were able to determine that Points East Pub would save approximately $1,013.17 annually by enrolling in the Small Business Program.
In September 2014, Town & Country Bank in Watertown was visited by a Focus on Energy Trade Ally, CJM Lighting & Electrical, Inc. of Sussex regarding their eligibility to participate in the Focus on Energy Small Business Program.
Expera Specialty Solutions was founded in June 2013, but the company has been backed by more than 130 years of rich history. Expera was formed when KPS Capital Partners combined Thilmany Papers with specialty paper mills from the Wausau area. The joining created North America’s largest specialty paper company. Based out of Kaukauna, the company has over 1,800 employees in the four mills in Rhinelander, Mosinee, Kaukauna, and De Pere. There is also one at Verson Paper’s Androscoggin mill in Maine. Together the mills make up $800 million in sales, and they have the ability to produce 600,000 tons of specialty papers per year.
Palermo’s Pizza is Milwaukee’s hometown frozen pizza manufacturer. Palermo’s Pizza operates in a 250,000-square-foot, USDA and FDA-approved and -inspected facility on Canal Street in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. Palermo’s moved into Villa Palermo, which includes the company’s headquarters and manufacturing plant in 2006, and made expansions to the plant in 2011. The site is modern and has many features that make it energy efficient. Still, the company knows that additional opportunities exist to improve its environmental performance.
La Crosse, WI
Jim Olson with E3 Coalition registered to become an Exterior Lighting Optimization (ELO) Trade Ally. E3 Coalition has deep involvement with the Focus on Energy Small Business Program and the Business Incentive Program. This past summer, he worked with La Crosse County at their West Salem Highway Department building to update their interior and exterior lighting.
Mercury Marine has been providing enthusiasts around the globe with world-class outboards and sterndrives for the past 75 years. After years of innovation, their motors leave a historic legacy building memories for their customers on the water.
In May, Focus on Energy rewarded the River Falls School District with a $143,323 incentive check for energy efficiency upgrades. The upgrades were approved through two past referendums. The amount of the incentive check matches the projected annual savings on the school district’s utility bills going forward.
Bush Brothers & Company is one of the largest producers of baked beans in the United States. The company’s Augusta, Wisconsin facility is the birth place of Bush’s Best Baked Beans, which are made from a ‘secret’ family recipe.
Middleton-based Capital Brewery was founded in 1984 and has been brewing beer since 1986. The company worked with Focus on Energy and their utility, Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E), to complete two projects; including, the installation of a 13 kW solar Photovoltaic (PV) system and the installation of a high efficiency heat recovery system with controls. These equipment installations are helping the brewery save over 19,000 kWh and 4,000 Therms resulting in a savings of more than $4,500 annually on their utility bill.
Trinity Lutheran Church recently participated in Focus on Energy’s Business Incentive Program. The financial incentives offered by Focus helped give the church’s building and properties supervisor, George Neubauer, the extra push to accomplish several energy savings projects. Those recent projects include an upgrade to two high efficiency modulating condensing boilers. In the past, the church has also applied for and received lighting incentives through Focus on Energy’s Small Business Program.
G&K Services operates large-scale industrial laundry facilities and has utilized Focus on Energy’s expertise and incentives for various upgrades in their facility. Environmental stewardship is one of the company’s core values.
Fox Brothers’ Piggly Wiggly in Hartland has benefited from Focus on Energy programs more than once. Most recently, the grocery store applied for and received refrigeration incentives. During the grocery store’s recent remodel, the store owner was looking to purchase more energy efficiency equipment. Focus on Energy set up a meeting with the customer to discuss all the options available to them. They were excited to learn that Focus had a special offer for the case door retrofits for open cases as they were upgrading their dairy cases with doors. The customer was originally only planning on upgrading the dairy cases, but upon seeing the new doors and learning more about the available incentives, they were also interested in upgrading their lunch meat cases.
Sturgeon Bay, WI
Focus on Energy’s Design Assistance team contacted Kenall Manufacturing after seeing an article on their plans to move the company headquarters to Kenosha. Kenall relocated its business from a neighboring state to an area of significant growth in Wisconsin; therefore, this particular project makes a great story from an economic development perspective as well as the energy savings. Another unique aspect is the fact that the customer's own product was included in the ECMs analyzed, for which they ultimately received incentives, as described below.
The City of Plymouth has many strong ties with local businesses in their community. They also have a rich history of providing financial support to local industries by partnering with them to attain bonds, grants, loans and other financing mechanisms. This is all done with the intention of retaining and expanding businesses and jobs within Plymouth.
McDonell Area Catholic Schools (MACS) was originally introduced to the Focus on Energy program through the Small Business program. MACS had Meyers Electric LLC (a registered Focus on Energy Trade Ally) perform the Small Business audits in several buildings and implemented several lighting upgrades as a result.
The Agriculture, Schools & Government Program received a call from Tony Bowe at Triple T Farms LLC in the spring of 2015. Bowe was in the process of completing a barn renovation project and wanted to know if he would be eligible for any Focus on Energy incentives.
When the Madison Concourse Hotel staff recently replaced two dryers in their facility, it caused some heads to turn. The staff managing the hotel upgrades learned that installing efficient dryers would have a 35% return-on-investment (ROI), paying for themselves in fewer than three years.
OakLeaf Surgical Hospital serves residents across western Wisconsin. Today, 52 surgeons in 14 specialties offer surgical procedures at OakLeaf on an outpatient or extended stay basis. In 2011, prior to construction on the facility, Focus on Energy’s Energy Advisor, Patrick Batz, was contacted by the engineering firm drawing up the original plans for OakLeaf Surgical Hospital.
In February 2015, a lighting distribution salesman visited West Bend Air, a small airport that offers air charter, flight training, aircraft rental and aircraft maintenance service in West Bend. When the salesman noticed the outdated lighting at the small business, he mentioned the Focus on Energy Small Business Program.
Lake Hallie Lodging LLC – Hampton Inn & Suites was a new construction project when they first approached Focus on Energy about energy efficiency upgrades and incentives for the new hotel. The Energy Advisor met with the customer and general contractor during the planning stage and helped determine which prescriptive incentives were available for the new building. In some instances, choices on the building’s equipment were adjusted or changed in order to qualify for additional incentives. A meeting with an Energy Advisor early in the process allowed for energy efficiency changes to be worked into the plan.
A southeast Wisconsin employer specializing in robotics is saving energy and money thanks to an incentive from the Focus on Energy program.
As a leading mechanical contractor, Tweet/Garot Mechanical already knew the value of energy efficiency.
An iconic supper club has cut their energy usage and costs thanks to Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. Pitch's Lounge has been owned and operated by the Picciurro Family since 1942. Located on Milwaukee’s east side (just one block north of Brady Street on Humboldt Avenue), the eatery is known for its barbecue ribs. Over the past few years, Pitch's Lounge has utilized Focus on Energy’s incentives for small businesses on a series of lighting upgrades. In 2013, incandescent lighting in the exterior and bar area was upgraded with compact fluorescent lightbulbs; T12 fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen and basement were retrofitted with more efficient T8 bulbs. Outdoor signage was upgraded with LED (light emitting diode) technology in 2014. The dining room’s lighting was replaced with LED fixtures in 2015. In 2017, LED upgrades were made in the kitchen, basement and bar area. Combined, these projects will save an estimated 67,783 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. These savings equal the annual electric usage of 7.6 American homes. Pitch’s Lounge will see a quick return on investment from their lighting projects, with an annual energy savings of about $6,000. Pitch’s Lounge qualified for $6,900 in incentives from Focus on Energy’s Small Business Incentive Program to pay towards the approximately $8,000 in lighting upgrades. Funded by Wisconsin utilities, Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The restaurant’s electric provider is We Energies. Pitch’s Lounge has high praise for Tactical Solutions, a Focus on Energy trade ally, which conducted the improvements and applied for incentives. In addition to the financial benefits, eye-pleasing lighting aesthetics are now uniform throughout the business. The Picciurros note that if not for assistance from Tactical Solutions, eventual lighting failures might have been replaced piecemeal at retail stores. They plan to utilize Focus on Energy next year to upgrade exterior lighting with energy-efficient fixtures. Pitch's Lounge has recommended Focus on Energy to a dozen other businesses, including their ‘sister’ restaurant, Miss Katie's Diner. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement project that otherwise would not get completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy usage, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information on how Focus on Energy can assist your business, visit https://focusonenergy.com/business.
Rooftop solar panels now provide the electric needs of Stoughton’s Thermal Design, Inc. The upgrade was made possible from an $18,398 incentive from Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin businesses and residents to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Thermal Design’s goal was to improve upon its energy efficient manufacturing facility by investing in a solar electric system that would be economical while reducing the company's carbon footprint. Synergy Renewable Systems proposed a roof mounted array of 132 (265 watt) solar panels that was sized to offset all of the facility's electrical use. Annual savings are estimated at $5,300 in electric costs and 45,995 kilowatt hours of electricity. The incentive from Focus on Energy’s Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program helped Thermal Design outline an estimated payback period of five years for the new solar electric system. Thermal Design, Inc. is a recognized innovator in the metal building insulation industry with more than 30 years of experience developing and manufacturing effective insulation systems. Thermal Design, Inc. assists contractors, designers and building owners with commercial energy code compliance solutions and provides products and services which integrates the design of insulation, HVAC, lighting, controls and power generation specifically tailored for pre-engineered metal buildings. For more information on how Focus on Energy can assist your business, visit https://focusonenergy.com/business.
Lower energy bills thanks to efficient lighting is music to the ears of a New Berlin music store.
Backstage at Overture Center for the Arts is a symphony of well-rehearsed operations.
Clintonville High School, located in Waupaca County, received a $41,587 incentive check from Focus on Energy and Clintonville Utilities after working with BNH Lighting.com, LLC to relamp the interior and exterior sections of their building with energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting fixtures, install occupancy sensors, and upgrade to day-lighting controls. This project is one of many the District has completed with the help of Focus on Energy. Over the past seven years, the District has upgraded a variety of lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and kitchen equipment in their other educational buildings.
Milwaukee – A Wisconsin non-profit is making a big difference for its bottom line and workers with energy-efficient lighting upgrades made through the Focus on Energy program.
Siren – Energy-efficient upgrades are making an immediate difference for workers at an agency in northwestern Wisconsin with a special mission.
Cassville – A long-time Wisconsin grocer invested in energy efficiency this year and, according to the owner, has seen early returns on that investment.
Madison – Manufacturer Therma-Stor knows something about energy efficiency, having specialized in heat transfer technologies for four decades. Therefore the company knew it could improve its facilities on Lien Road in east Madison.
Menomonie – Focus on Energy joined Xcel Energy on Thursday to present the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association Ice Board (MYHAIB) with checks for more than 20,000 and honor the non-profit for its steps towards energy efficiency.
River Falls – The owner of University Village Apartments in River Falls will see savings for years to come thanks to a trio of energy efficiency projects, but it’s the instant discount that pushed those projects forward.
Waterloo – As students start a new school year in Waterloo, they may see their schools in a new light.
Onalaska – When Misty’s Dance Unlimited outgrew its studio after 20 years teaching kids, the Onalaska business put careful thought into its expansion plans.
Luther Park Reduces Energy Costs, Saving Resources for Primary Mission
Eau Claire – As a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor, Market & Johnson knows better than most the benefits of the statewide energy efficiency program. So, it is no surprise the general contracting company is taking advantage of Focus on Energy incentives to make their offices more energy-efficient.
Milwaukee – The lighting in the parking garage at Highland Court Apartments was inadequate. The complex’s long-time manager knew it could be better and, more importantly, safer. So she called her electrician.
Birchwood, WI – For many Wisconsin business owners, Focus on Energy’s Community Small Business Offering provided an introduction to the Focus on Energy program. But for some, it offered a chance to work with the program another time.
Madison – A new luxury apartment development on Madison’s east side can list energy efficiency among the amenities for its residential and commercial tenants thanks to its work with Focus on Energy.
Hartford – There are many chapters in the story of the Chandelier Ballroom in Hartford.
Madison, WI – Over the past two decades, Housing Initiatives has helped hundreds of mentally ill people find shelter and leave a life of homelessness in the Madison area. The organization’s desire to spend more of its resources on that primary mission led it to Focus on Energy this year.
Green Bay, WI – Having the right contractor can make a big difference when it comes to saving energy and money, as one Green Bay church found out this year.