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.
Housing Initiatives was working with Air Quality Systems, Inc., a Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractor that contacted Focus on Energy on behalf of the shelter. That led to a visit from an Energy Advisor Chris Peshek from Focus on Energy’s Multifamily Energy Savings Program, who made many energy-efficiency recommendations.
“Chris listed more benefits for energy improvements than just improving the HVAC. Chris gave us at Air Quality Systems, Inc. support by giving [us] credibility to do the improvements. Chris also assisted in handling the Focus on Energy forms for giving dollars back to the customer,” said Eric Legreid, Project Manager at Air Quality Systems, Inc.
Housing Initiatives ended up installing seven boilers with indirect water heaters in 2018 and those projects will save approximately 69,941 therms of natural gas over the life of the equipment. That equates to more than 405,000 pounds of burned coal. The new, energy-efficient equipment will also help the organization save money on its energy bill.
“Community partnerships are invaluable to the success of affordable housing programs. Our relationship with the Focus on Energy program has enabled us to redirect saved resources to our primary goal: providing permanent housing to people who suffer from a mental illness and became homeless because of it. This is particularly true due to the nature of some of our tenants’ illnesses which cause them to stay home most of the day, driving up energy costs,” said Dean Loumos, Executive Director of Housing Initiatives.
Housing Initiatives received nearly $4,500 in incentives through Focus on Energy’s Multifamily Energy Savings Program. The incentives are made possible by their utility, Madison Gas & Electric, and the other 106 Wisconsin utilities that fund the Focus on Energy program.
A recent evaluation report 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 www.focusonenergy.com.
About Housing Initiatives
Over the last 20 years, Housing Initiatives has ended homelessness for 600 men, women, and veterans who suffer from a mental illness by providing them with a permanent home and supportive services to help them lead a healthier life. Housing Initiatives is the only organization in Madison that focuses exclusively on ending homelessness for those who suffer from severe mental illness. Their model has proven highly successful, with 95% of Housing Initiatives’ clients never returning to homelessness.
MGE (Madison Gas & Electric)