Madison, Wis. – Ozaukee County’s energy conservation efforts makes them a leader among local governments in Wisconsin and an ideal recipient for a FOCUS ON ENERGY® 2021 Energy Efficiency Excellence (EEE) Award. The County’s achievement is the result of the collaborative partnership with Focus on Energy, We Energies and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). On May 5, 2021, PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq presented the Ozaukee County Board with an EEE Award during its bi-weekly meeting.
"Ozaukee County is an excellent example of how local units of government can reap the benefits of the Focus on Energy Program," said Chairperson Valcq. "I want to thank the members of the Ozaukee County Board for all that they have done to promote energy efficiency, which improves the overall quality of life for its residents. I encourage all levels of government along with manufacturing companies and schools to learn from your leadership and utilize the Focus on Energy programs to lower energy costs for all and reduce carbon emissions."
The EEE Award honors Focus on Energy participants who have shown a commitment to leading in energy efficiency – and Ozaukee County is currently completing 22 of 29 energy efficiency projects as recommended by Focus on Energy during initial planning efforts in 2014.
Lee Schlenvogt, Chairperson of the Ozaukee County Board, praised his County Board colleagues for their commitment to reduce energy use in County buildings. The Board formed an Energy Action Commission, that worked closely with their energy adviser from Focus on Energy, Tom Dragotta, to identify energy saving projects and leverage the financial and technical resources the Focus on Energy and utility partner, We Energies. The projects included installation of LED lighting and heating and cooling upgrades in several County buildings. Schlenvogt stated, “between 2014 and 2020—partly due to the pandemic—the County reduced its electrical consumption by 4% and natural gas consumption by 17%. These improvements have been made partly due to the building energy assessments provided by We Energies and the Focus on Energy program.”
Dragotta added, “Ozaukee County is an ideal recipient of this award, taking a holistic approach to sustainability. They have a diverse Energy Action Team that meets quarterly to discuss energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy opportunities and efforts. In addition to the numerous energy efficiency projects undertaken, they have a solar array, hybrid-electric taxi service vehicles and are currently pursuing a hybrid-electric retrofit engine for their taxi shuttle buses.
Ozaukee County is currently working with Strang Engineering and Focus on Energy to convert a steam heating plant to natural gas in the County’s administrative building, which will save energy and reduce costs. Additionally, the County recently received a grant from the PSCW’s Office of Energy Innovation to convert its courthouse from steam to natural gas. Dragotta said, “This large undertaking further showcases the County’s commitment to energy efficiency. As part of this project, Focus on Energy will work with the County to reduce the cost of new, efficient water boilers.”
Beginning in April, continuing through July, Focus on Energy and its utility partners across the state are presenting Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to 12 outstanding businesses and organizations to honor their energy efficiency commitment. The awardees encompass a wide range of business types, including educational and medical facilities, manufacturers, farms, and partnering Focus on Energy Trade Ally contractors.
Focus on Energy partners with 107 utilities across the state to offer energy expertise and financial incentives to residents and businesses that choose to reduce energy waste. A recent national study revealed Wisconsin runs the most cost-effective energy efficiency program in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. A separate independent evaluation released last year found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $4.80 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.