Energy On Wisconsin is a collaboration of the State Energy Office (SEO) and University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. 
January/February 2016
Upcoming Education
Funding NEW
Recently Added Resources 
Upcoming Education Opportunities
MREA: Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems Online
February 8, 2016 - March 6, 2016

ENERGY STAR Webcast: Ask the Expert
February 10 or 24, 2016: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm

ENERGY STAR Webcast: How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR
February 11, 2016: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

SEE Action Webcast: Making it Count: Understanding the Value of Energy Efficiency Financing Programs
February 11, 2016: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm

ENERGY STAR Webcast: Portfolio Manager 101
February 16, 2016: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Focus On Energy: Renewable Energy Loan Program Webinar
February 17, 2016: 9:00 am

ENERGY STAR Webcast: Portfolio Manger 201
February 17, 2016: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Seventhwave: LEDs: Inside and Out- Interior Applications
February 17, 2016: 12:00 pm- 12:30 pm

ENERGY STAR Webcast: Portfolio Manager 301
February 18, 2016: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

SEE Action Webcast: Making it Count: Energy Efficiency Financing Case Studies
February 18, 2016: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm

Municipal Sustainability Forum: Innovative Large Scale Energy Efficiency Program for City and Business Employees Webinar
February 18, 2016: 11:00 am

MREA: Basic Photovoltaics Online
February 24, 2016 - March 20, 2016

Seventhwave: LEDs: Inside and Out- Exterior Applications
February 24, 2016: 12:00 pm- 12:30 pm

Events and Other Education
Early Bird Deadline- Presenters and Exhibitors at the Energy Fair
February 15, 2016

Seventhwave: Advanced RTU Control Strategies
Madison, WI

February 18, 2016: 8:00 am- 12:00 pm

International Living Future Institute: Net Energy + Water Conference
San Diego, CA

February 18-19, 2016

MEEA: 2016 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
Chicago, IL
February 24-26, 2016

WPUI: Community-Based Solar in Wisconsin

February 25, 2016: 8:00 am- 4:00 pm

Seventh Wave and Wisconsin Builders Association: Better Buildings: Better Business Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

March 2-4, 2016

M-WERC: Energy Policy Forum
Milwaukee, WI

March 17, 2016: 8:30 a.m- 12:00 p.m

International Biomass Conference & Expo
Charlotte, NC

April 11-14, 2016
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This Month's Picture

Letterhead Press Inc., of New Berlin, WI, installed 1,300 solar panels making it one of the largest completed Wisconsin solar projects of 2015.  Their new system generates 337 kilowatts of electricity supplying one quarter of their annual electricity needs. See news article below.

Photo courtesy of Letterhead Press Inc.

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Appeals Court Supports Clean Power Plan
A Federal appeals court rejected a plea by Wisconsin and more than two dozen other states that sought to delay enforcement of the the US EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP), which is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  The CPP requires Wisconsin to cut carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2030.  Wisconsin has until September to submit an initial draft plan by stakeholders that is customized to the state for increased energy efficiency, renewable energy expansion and reduced use of coal fired power plants.  Otherwise, Wisconsin will be required to follow the federal path to compliance.  For more information

Nuclear in Wisconsin Revisited
The Wisconsin Assembly passed AB 384/ SB288, which would change the state's energy priorities policy and would repeal the 1983 restrictions to building a new nuclear power plant. The restrictions required that there is a federally licensed storage facility for high-level nuclear waste and that the plant is economically advantages to ratepayers compared with feasible alternatives over its life cycle.  Still, there is no solution to safe storage of nuclear waste, although Wisconsin is being considered as one of the top two federal nuclear storage sites.  The economics aren't favorable either, given the extreme expense of building a new nuclear power plant.  Wisconsin's Kewaunee nuclear plant closed in 2013 due to high operating costs compared with natural gas.  Wisconsin's sole operating nuclear plant at Point Beach generates approximately 13 percent of the state's electricity.  The bill sponsors cite compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan requirements to reduce carbon emissions from Wisconsin power plants as the impetus to allow the possibility of generating electricity from nuclear energy.  The Senate has not voted on the bill at present.  For more information, peblogspot, JS

Johnson Controls Merger
Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) will have a bigger global presence in the building products market through its acquisition of Tyco, a global fire and security system company based in Cork, Ireland.  The combined company will include product, technology and service capabilities across controls, fire, security, HVAC, power solutions and energy storage.  The merger enables Tyco to grow in China, where JCI is a leader, and JCI to expand in Europe while saving the companies $500 million over three years in operations.  Yet, the merger is highly controversial with JCI moving its headquarters overseas and avoiding $150 million annually in US taxes.  For more information: JS, Johnson Controls, and nytimes

Energy Efficiency Jobs Increase 500%- Focus on Energy a Big WI Contributor
The rate of growth for jobs in energy efficiency nationally has increased by 500 percent since 2009 according to Coyne College that compiled data on sustainability jobs overall.  Wisconsin, California, New Mexico, Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland are the top states for sustainability jobs, based on the number of job listings on In Wisconsin, Focus on Energy, the state public benefit program, created 2,000 jobs annually and generated more than $600 million in economic benefits for the state between 2011 and 2014, according to the 2015 Focus on Energy Economic Impacts Study.  By 2038, Focus will have created $2.8 billion in benefits.  

Jobs in the green building sector are another major sustainable business opportunity in Wisconsin with 104,000 jobs 2011-2014 (see EOW December news), although Wisconsin did not make US Green Building Council's 2015 top 10 states for LEED green building projects.  Illinois was the leader for the third consecutive year.  Other top sustainability jobs related to energy include solar power contractor, wind turbine installer, sustainable construction engineer, and hybrid vehicle technician.  For more information, ib, and focus on energy exec summary

Largest Milwaukee Office Building to Earn LEED Gold for High Performance
A 30 story, 654,000 square foot, multi-tenant, class A office building, 411 East Wisconsin, is the largest in Milwaukee to receive a LEED gold certification for an Existing Building Operations & Maintenance (LEED O+M) from the US Green Building Council.  LEED O+M certifies high performance in energy, water and resource conservation, indoor environmental quality and occupant engagement.  To meet the energy performance requirements, a building's energy use is benchmarked (measured) and system upgrades made to earn an Energy Star from the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).  411 East Wisconsin's Energy Star rating is a 91, operating in the top 10 percent of similar office buildings by type in the state and nationally.  To accomplish this, Riverview Realty Partners installed LED lighting and occupancy sensors, high efficiency chillers, Energy Star plumbing fixtures and a building automated controls system as part of a multimillion dollar upgrade.  Riverview Realty Partners states that earning LEED certification was a smart business decision that showcases their leadership, reduces operating costs, and is essential to attracting and retaining quality tenants.  For more information and cpexecutive

Letterhead Press Installs Solar
Letterhead Press Inc., New Berlin, WI, recently installed 1,300 solar panels, making this 337 kilowatt system one of the largest solar projects of 2015.  This solar system will generate one quarter of Letterhead's annual energy use, saving the company about $1.5 million over the life of the panels.  The project was able to achieve a five year payback period with a $236,000 grant from the Focus on Energy program.  Additionally, Letterhead has cut its energy use by percent through energy-saving projects making big strides toward the goal of being 100 percent energy self-sufficient.  To read more: JS, Letterhead

City-wide Cool Choices to Energy Savings
The City of Madison has been chosen as one of the 50 semifinalists for the Georgetown University Energy Prize.  This is a national competition to promote energy efficiency by local governments and their community with a $5 million prize.  To engage city residents, businesses, staff and organizations in helping the city to save energy, Cool Choices was rolled out citywide.  Cool Choices is a game-based approach to behavior change that promotes sustainability and reduces carbon emissions.  It is played in teams, tracked online and creates competition to take action related to sustainable choices,  More than 40 Madison businesses and organizations (with 865 people) completed from American Family Insurance and the Chamber of Commerce to UW Health and Capital Newspaper.  The energy, water, carbon and financial savings achieved: 849,086 kWh of electricity, 36,537 therms, 2.54 million gallons of water, 2.64 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and $245,186.  Madison will hold another Cool Choices challenge in the spring.  The final Georgetown University Energy prize winners will be announced June of 2017. Read more

La Farge Municipal Utility Embarks on Community Solar
An advisory committee of businesses, residents and the Village of La Farge Community Solar Project that will be the first in Wisconsin by a municipal utility.  The project would provide between 300 kilowatts to 1 megawatts of electricity for businesses and residential customers of the La Farge Municipal Utility.  Dairyland Power, that supplies electricity to the Co-op, has agreed to allow a 'behind the substation' connection.  The Village hired Ethos Green Power as the managing consultant who teamed with Wes Engineering and Energy Law Wisconsin to develop the project.  This project would reduce peak demand, avoid transmission costs and save money.  The ultimate goal for the community solar project is to completely offset the electrical consumption of some large businesses like Organic Valley.  For more information: Lacrosse Tribune, Lacrosstribune

Solar Growth in Wisconsin- An Upward Trajectory
Extensions of the Federal Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credits (ITC), passed by the House and Senate in the budget bill and signed by the President on December 18, 2015, will create stability in renewable energy (RE) investments and will drive more development of RE projects by businesses and between local governments and the private sector, particularly for solar in Wisconsin.  The stability will likely spur additional investment in renewables by utilities as well.  The Renewable Energy ITCs include: a 3 year extension for 30% of Investments Tax Credit for solar, $0.023/kWh Production Tax Credit for wind; and a 1 year extension for other renewable energy technologies, which decrease over time.

While Wisconsin had its largest growth in solar power in 2015, adding a total of 7 megawatts, many are optimistic that 2016 will be another year of significant growth for the state's solar industry.  The decreasing cost of solar and the Clean Power Plan are other factors that will help drive clean energy investments in Wisconsin and nationally.  Green Tech; USA Today, JS

Smart Streetlights Improve Quality of Life
Smart streetlights will be an integral part of the future urban infrastructure boosting Wi-Fi signals, measuring air pollution, killing mosquitoes, transmitting water level data, etc. in addition to lighting the streets.  They are being used in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Malaysia for numerous functions.  In Malaysia, the streetlights have a solar panel and wind turbine on top and are waterproof on the bottom so that they can continue to function in extreme weather events like floods or in rural areas where power is not available.  In contrast, Copenhagen's smart streetlights transmit information about location of available parking spaces.  For more information Fast Company


Focus On Energy Renewable Energy Loan Program
Focus On Energy will provide program specific details regarding the new Renewable Energy Loan Program on a webinar February 17th.  To register
Recently Added Resources
10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers, eBook by EnergyCAP, Inc. 2015. The value of energy information is on the rise, energy performance mandates, both public and private, are proliferating, and energy management tools are becoming more powerful and complex.  This concise eBook provides useful information in a clear, simple, stepwise format to assist energy managers in effectively and efficiently tracking and managing their organization's energy use and communicating energy savings and performance internally and externally.

2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook
2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) provides up-to-date, market information about the broad range of industries - energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas - that are contributing to the country's move towards cleaner energy production and more efficient energy usage.

Cost of LEED v4
The Cost of LEED v4 by BuildingGreen answers questions by owners and design teams about the affordability of LEED certification and the costs associated with each sustainable design strategy on a LEED for new construction project.  It details which credits are likely to produce cost savings, cost synergies for bundling credits, and other strategic information.
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Contacts for Energy On Wisconsin
Sherrie Gruder 
Sustainable Design Specialist   
(608) 262-0398
Megan Levy
Director of Local Energy Programs
Wisconsin State Energy Office
(608) 266-5054

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