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.
The MYHAIB has made several lighting upgrades in recent months—including new LED lights in the Don Fanetti Ice Arena—that pleasantly surprised those who use the facility.
“It’s awesome! The rink has never looked so good,” said UW-Stout Men’s Hockey Coach Terry Watkins, whose team plays its home games at the arena. “It’s like a whole new building.”
“First and foremost, we have a brighter rink,” said Stacy Hintzman, the president of the hockey association board. “We had a darker one than a lot of our competition.”
Previous lighting at the arena fell below competitive hockey standards. Bob Schultz, a member of the board and an Xcel Energy employee, was familiar with Focus on Energy and reached out to the program about the possibility of attaining monetary incentives additional to those provided by Xcel to improve the lighting.
The combined incentives offered by the utility and Focus on Energy, which included bonus incentives through Focus on Energy’s limited-time Community Small Business Offerings (CSBO) campaign, helped significantly offset the cost of the MYHAIB’s investment.
“Partnerships with our Trade Allies, with Focus on Energy and just customers in our community is huge. We’re very entrenched in our communities,” said Tim Bartels, Mid-Market Account Representative for Xcel Energy. “We very much value those partnerships to be able to have a strong working relationship with our customers.”
Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy representatives presented checks totaling $20,732 to board members Thursday afternoon at the ice arena.
“The incentives were a big factor. We’re a volunteer organization, non-profit, and we have a limited budget,” said Jack Tritt, Chairperson of the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association Ice Board. “The reps from both Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy made the incentive application process easy to navigate and allowed the project to be completed faster than we expected.”
The non-profit will also see long-term energy savings. New lights in the ice arena and the Agriculture Building, another building the board manages at the Dunn Count Recreation Park, are expected to save an estimated $10,000 annually. Furthermore, with better lighting, the MYHAIB expects to improve the number and variety of events it can host in its buildings.
Tritt says the incentives for upgraded lighting in those buildings persuaded the board to move forward with two additional projects: replacing their outdoor lighting and standardizing lighting across their facilities.
“We could not have done this project without the incentives from Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy, especially the bonus program. And that’s what kind of tipped us over here on making this decision to go through with the project, because we knew it had limited time,” Schultz said.
“When you talk about the full story—our customer being able to double the light levels and increase the aesthetics of the facility, and ultimately end up reducing your energy load—that’s a win-win for everyone.” Bartels said.
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 focusonenergy.com.
About the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association
The Menomonie Youth Hockey Association aims to provide youth in the greater Menomonie area with the opportunity to learn, play and compete in the game of hockey with an emphasis on growth in the areas of skill development, teamwork and sportsmanship.
Xcel Energy (Northern States Power)