Charlie Higley, (608) 251-3322 x. 14
MADISON — The Citizens Utility Board is deeply disappointed by the last night’s action by the Joint Committee on Finance, which supported a cut of nearly $56 million from the proposed two year budget for the Focus on Energy program, the state’s energy efficiency program.
“With electricity and natural gas rates going through the roof, legislators are proposing to cut funds from energy efficiency programs, the only strategy that can provide relief to Wisconsin residents and businesses from rising energy bills,” said Charlie Higley, CUB executive director.
Legislators who voted to stop the cuts from Focus on Energy were Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), Sen. Roberta Darling (R-River Hills), Sen. Russ Decker (D-Schofield), and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison). CUB appreciates the leadership shown by these legislators, especially Mr. Cowles, to protect funding for these vital energy efficiency efforts.
Every dollar invested in Focus on Energy saves the Wisconsin economy nearly $6 in reduced energy bills and reduced impacts on the environment, while increasing in-state jobs and economic activity.
Although these proposed cuts will be harmful to the state’s energy policy, CUB is calling on legislators and the public to support the enactment of the recommendations from the bipartisan task force on energy efficiency and renewables, convened by Gov. Doyle in late 2003. These recommendations would protect and increase the funding for energy efficiency efforts and increase the amount of energy derived from renewable energy resources.
The Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin is a member-supported nonprofit organization that advocates for reliable and affordable utility service and that represents the interests of residential, farm, and small business customers of electric, natural gas, and telecommunication utilities before regulatory agencies, the legislature, and the courts.