Beaver Dam, WI – The City of Beaver Dam’s Director of Utilities, Rob Minnema, knew the blowers at the city’s wastewater treatment facility were old and inefficient, but he didn’t know how much he would save till he replaced them.
“Within the first three months of operation, we averaged over $5,100 per month of savings compared to last year’s electrical costs,” Minnema says.
That journey to energy and cost savings started with a call to FOCUS ON ENERGY®, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable resources program.
The City of Beaver Dam is a customer of Alliant Energy, one of the 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund Focus on Energy, so the City was eligible for the energy expertise and financial incentives the Focus on Energy program provides.
Wastewater treatment facilities use blowers in the aeration process and those blowers tend to be the largest energy users at such sites. The facility in Beaver Dam had two blowers that were 25-30 years old and ran at full speed regardless of the facility’s load.
Working through Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, School & Government program, the City replaced the old blowers and installed two variable frequency drive, high-speed turbo motors that provide more airflow. The facility now operates one blower at a time and sensors help control the motors, letting them know when they don’t have to be running at full speed.
Combined with the redesigning of some underground piping that had been leaking, the new blowers will help the City save nearly 918,000-kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough electrical energy to power 74 Wisconsin homes for an entire year. The City is also estimated to save more than $61,200 on its energy bills each year.
Focus on Energy helped make it possible with an incentive check for nearly $40,000 to help offset the upfront cost of the equipment.
“Because of the financial resources and technical assistance from Focus on Energy, our City has finally had the opportunity to replace our aging blowers and realize an immediate payback on this project,” Minnema says. “In less than five years, the City will be able to pay back the total equipment capital.”
All ratepayers of the 107 utilities that participate in the Focus on Energy program are eligible for the benefits the program offers to businesses, homeowners, farms, schools and local governments. 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
Beaver Dam, WI
Alliant Energy (Wisconsin Power & Light)