Mount Horeb – The Mount Horeb Area Historical Society made sustainability a priority when it expanded its facility last year and, as a result, was awarded an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award on Wednesday.
“We’re honored to have this. We appreciate not only the technical help we received from these folks, but the financial commitments which made the decision much easier on several of the energy efficiency things,” said John Swartz, President of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society Board of Directors. “It reduced the payback to the point where it was a no-brainer.”
The Historical Society will save more than $9,000 a year in reduced energy costs. It received a total incentive of more than $14,000 from Focus on Energy for implementing the energy-saving measures at its expanded Driftless Historium.
“It’s been a very interesting project for us,” said Barb Ohlsen, the Energy Advisor who nominated the Historical Society for the award. “Often, most of the time, we have new construction projects. But this one was pretty fun because it had existing facilities that were being renovated and some new construction, and a combination of all those. Plus, being a museum-type space it has special HVAC needs on maintaining the humidity and temperature. So having energy savings on those parameters is very commendable. We were very pleased with the results.”
The Mount Horeb Area Historical Society is a customer of Mount Horeb Utilities, which is a WPPI Energy member. The utility worked with the non-profit and Focus on Energy’s Energy Advisors on the project, which included installation of an energy efficient heating and cooling system, and energy efficient lighting.
“I think one of the things that’s so exciting is being able to get out and see the direct impact of the Focus on Energy program, and the impact it has on our communities,” said Maria Redmond, Director of the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. “I think the other thing you have to think about is the economic impact of the program. The fact that you’re going to be saving a significant amount of money, and that can be directed elsewhere to other projects, for jobs.”
State Representative Sondy Pope spoke briefly to the small crowd that gathered for the award presentation. She represents Mount Horeb in the State Assembly and also lives in the village.
“We feel that Mount Horeb really reflects our belief system, our values, and this project certainly speaks to that,” Pope said. “The commitment to sustainability is truly admirable. And I’m proud that we’ve chosen to pay homage to our rich history while keeping an eye on the future and ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy this incredible area.”
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 Mount Horeb Area Historical Society
The Mount Horeb Area Historical Society celebrates and preserves the rich ethnic and rural heritage of Southwestern Dane County’s Driftless Area. The Society enhances community cohesiveness through multi-generational education and outreach that promote cultural insight and a sense of place.
Pictured above from left to right: Maria Redmond, Director of the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission; Destinee Udelhoven, Executive Director of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society Driftless Historium; and John Swartz, President of the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society Board of Directors.