Madison, WI – Focus on Energy and Sun Prairie Utilities/WPPI delivered two checks totaling more than $350,000 to the Sun Prairie Area Board of Education on Monday night. The money is an incentive payment for energy efficiency measures built into the district’s two new elementary schools.
The check presentation happened shortly after the start of the board’s 6:30 p.m. Monday meeting. Focus on Energy provided a check for $302,509.02 and Sun Prairie Utilities, a member of WPPI Energy, presented a payment of $50, 875. The school district is an electric customer of Sun Prairie Utilities and a gas customer of We Energies. The two utilities are among the 107 that fund the Focus on Energy program.
“Anytime we can work with a school district and provide incentives for having energy efficiency measures within the schools, that’s a great thing,” said Clint Cry, who represented Sun Prairie Utilities and WPPI at the meeting. He says monetary incentives for energy efficiency are available to all school districts in areas served by WPPI Energy, which is made up of 51 locally-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The Sun Prairie Area School District took advantage of Focus on Energy’s Design Assistance (DA) program when building Token Springs Elementary and Meadow View Elementary, which both opened in September.
“Design Assistance was brought up very early in the planning process for our new schools and our consultants have worked with the program in the past,” said Kevin Splain, the school district’s Sustainability/Energy Manager. “Energy efficiency has been a focus of the district since around 2005 when we worked with Focus on Energy to create our Energy Manager position.”
“HGA presented the [Focus on Energy] Design Assistance program to Sun Prairie Area School District in the proposal stage for our consulting work,” said Graham Linn, a project engineer for HGA Architects and Engineers, which consulted on the building projects. “We framed the sustainability discussions around ‘What can we achieve with the help of DA?’ throughout the design process.”
“Working with our design consultants and the Design Assistance program allowed the district to get to that next level of energy efficiency at our new elementary schools, including lighting control strategies, our geothermal heating and cooling system and the solar installation,” Splain added. “It was a very easy process. We leaned heavily on the design engineers and their knowledge.”
Energy-efficient steps taken in building the two schools have combined lifecycle energy savings estimated at more than 71 million kilowatt hours of electricity and more than 19,000 therms of natural gas. That’s roughly 58 million pounds of coal that will not need to be burned thanks to the efficiency of the two buildings.
J.H. Findorf & Son was the primary contractor for construction of the schools. In addition, Eppstein Uhen Architects provided architectural services and HGA Architects and Engineers provided energy modeling services.
The most recent annual 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.