Local YMCA Honored for Leadership in Energy Efficiency
Wisconsin Public Service & Manitowoc Public Utilities
Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA Receives Award from Focus on Energy
Manitowoc, Wis. – A commitment to energy efficiency and desire to improve facilities earned Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from FOCUS ON ENERGY® on Wednesday.
The award presentation was part of a grand reopening and ribbon-cutting celebration for the YMCA, following a $4 million fundraising campaign and major renovations. Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan presented the plaque.
“On behalf of the commissioner of the [Public Service Commission of Wisconsin], [Rebecca] Valcq, and Governor Evers, I want to congratulate you on everything that has gone on and what you’re doing today,” Sec. Brennan said, noting that his father was born in Manitowoc. “My father was the son of a single mother, who married later in life. But he was the kind of kid who used services like the Y.”
“It’s great,” YMCA Property Director Dan Simmer said of winning the award. “It’s something that shows our community that we’re trying to do something; we’re trying to do it right.”
Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA has worked continuously in recent years to make improvements for the community members who use the facility on Maritime Drive. That work includes upgrades to reduce energy use.
Focus on Energy staff that nominated Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA for the award singled out Simmer for constantly searching for ways to improve facilities while taking advantage of Focus on Energy financial incentives.
“Basically, anything that uses energy, Dan has always been an advocate of making it more efficient with less maintenance,” said Kyle Thomas, an Energy Advisor with Focus on Energy who has worked with Simmer on several energy upgrades.
“When we first started looking at things, we realized [there were] just tons of things that could be done to help benefit the Y and the people within the Y.”
Over the past four years, Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA has worked with Focus on Energy and its utilities, Manitowoc Public Utilities and WPS, to increase the energy efficiency of heating and cooling units, laundry equipment and pool pump motors in its facility, while also installing energy-efficient LED lighting with occupancy sensors and network controls.
Focus on Energy provided more than $19,000 in combined financial incentives to help offset the cost of those investments in energy efficiency, which are now providing substantial savings on energy bills and allowing the YMCA to spend those energy cost savings on other priorities.
“I’ve looked at the energy bills over the last year-and-a-half and just totally been amazed. They far exceeded what I thought we would do,” Simmer said.
Combined energy savings from the projects over the life of the equipment equal roughly 3,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 16,800 therms of natural gas – enough energy to power 320 homes for a full year.
In addition to the already-completed upgrades, Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA is working with Focus on Energy to evaluate more energy efficiency projects, including LED lighting for its indoor tennis courts.
Focus on Energy works with 107 participating utilities in Wisconsin and customers of those utilities qualify for the energy expertise and financial incentives the Program provides to homeowners, business owners, municipalities and other groups. In 2019, Focus on Energy is honoring 18 customers and contractors from across the state with an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award for leadership in energy efficiency.
A recent third-party evaluation revealed Wisconsin runs the most-cost-effective energy efficiency programs in the nation, in terms of energy savings per dollar spent. The same evaluation found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates $5 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.