Madison Small Business Honored for Commitment to Energy Efficiency
Klein’s Floral Wins Energy Efficiency Excellence Award
Madison, Wis. – When Sue Klein decided to renovate her business two years ago, she had understandably mixed feelings. Her big ideas for rebuilding Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses meant tearing down the old farmhouse and greenhouses that had been in her family since her grandparents bought the east Madison property in 1913.
“It was very hard to tear down the old structure. My dad was born in the farmhouse and, when that was torn down, I did cry,” Klein said. “It was very hard, but this is what I wanted to do for my children and perhaps a future generation.”
The new and improved Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses opened last year and customers certainly noticed the greenhouses were brighter, more spacious and more comfortable. Plus, the greenhouses are just as efficient as they are beautiful.
“[Energy efficiency] was something that, yes, I made sure they both knew was important to me,” Sue said, referencing the two contractors that worked on the project, Supreme Structures and Carlin Sales Corporation.
Representatives from both those businesses were on hand this morning as FOCUS ON ENERGY® and Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E) presented Klein’s Floral with a 2019 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award.
“We take great pride and are happy to recognize businesses and schools and governments and everyone else who has received one of these Excellence Awards this year,” said Jolene Sheil, Manager of Focus on Energy programs at the Public Service Commission, before presenting the plaque to Klein. “It’s just a great economic benefit and environmental benefit.”
“I’m very proud of Sue and Klein’s for taking advantage of the Focus on Energy program and really leading as an example for small businesses to invest in energy efficiency,” MG&E’s Jillian Page said after the award presentation. “Having a new building, there [are] a lot of costs that go along with it, and Sue really made sustainability and energy efficiency a priority in her business.”
Klein worked with the contractors and an Energy Advisor from Focus on Energy’s Agriculture, School and Government Program to include several energy efficiency measures in the new buildings, including:
- High-efficiency unit heaters
- High-efficiency boilers
- Ceiling insulation
- Energy-efficient double-pane windows
- Double-polycarbonate building envelope
Lifecycle energy savings from the Focus on Energy projects at Klein’s are enough to power more than 650 homes for a full year.
“We are facing what I consider an existential threat in terms of the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming up our atmosphere and creating all these severe weather changes that we’ve seen,” said State Sen. Mark Miller, who came to see one of his constituent businesses honored. “And the most efficient way to reduce those is [to] not produce them in the first place.”
Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses qualified for Focus on Energy incentives totaling nearly $31,000 to help offset the initial cost of installing the more efficient materials and equipment, which will also save the business more than $29,000 a year on its utility bills.
“I’m grateful for Focus [on Energy] and the financial support… You helped us build our dream greenhouse in an energy-efficient manner,” Klein said after accepting the award. “I grew up in the business. This is what I’ve done my whole life. To hear customers who knew my parents and some who even knew my grandparents, and for them to say, ‘They would be so proud of you and what you’ve done’ – that’s huge for me.”
MG&E is one of 107 Wisconsin utilities that fund and partner with the Focus on Energy program. Customers of those utilities are eligible for the energy expertise and financial incentives Focus on Energy provides.
A recent independent evaluation found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy generates more than $5 in benefits for the state of 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