DOA: Focus on Energy Helps Wisconsin Businesses and Residents Cut Annual Energy Costs by $98 Million

Contact:  Scott Larrivee, Department of Administration, 608-266-7362

              Julie Wade, Focus on Energy, 414-225-9568

              Tim Wirtz, Focus on Energy, 414-225-9522




Energy savings also fuel economic growth and protect the environment


Homeowners and businesses are facing rising natural gas and electricity costs.  With winter heating bills increasing as much as 40 percent to 50 percent, Wisconsin residents and businesses are looking to Focus on Energy, Wisconsin‘s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, for help in reducing their energy costs.  Since July 2001, more than 600,000 residents and businesses have worked with Focus on Energy to better manage their energy use, saving more than $98 million on annual energy costs, the lifetime dollar value of these energy savings equals more than $730 million.


Not only are households seeing the benefits of energy efficiency through lower energy bills, businesses are, too.  Many state businesses are taking advantage of the resources offered by Focus on Energy to implement a broad range of energy saving measures.  Those investing in energy efficiency are reducing operating and maintenance costs and improving their bottom line. 


“Energy costs get a lot of attention during the heating season, but energy efficiency is important year round,” said Kimberly Walker, administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Energy, which oversees Focus on Energy.  “Cold winters and summer heat waves can be anticipated, but natural disasters, like hurricanes, that interrupt large percentages of the nation’s oil, cannot.  By taking energy efficient steps now, Wisconsin‘s businesses and residents can be well prepared for future changes in energy prices and supply.”


Businesses that sell and install energy saving technologies also benefit from the program.  Since July 2001, Focus on Energy’s programs have influenced $264 million in sales for Wisconsin businesses.


With energy prices rising and the cost of renewable energy systems dropping, more homeowners and businesses are turning to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.   Residents and businesses have taken advantage of the training, technical assistance, support and in some cases grants and incentives offered by Focus on Energy’s Renewable Energy Program.  As a result, the program has helped save more than $4 million in annual energy costs since its inception. 


Focus on Energy has environmental benefits, too.  Energy saving measures implemented through the program have prevented the emission of more than two billion pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the burning of 4,059 rail car loads of coal to generate electricity. 


For more information about Focus on Energy and its energy saving programs, call 1-800-762-7077 or visit


About Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin.  The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin.  Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin‘s businesses and residents cut their annual utility bills by more than $98 million – reducing their energy consumption by nearly 811 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 40 million therms of natural gas.  For more information, call 800.762.7077 or visit


About the Department of Administration

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) administers the state’s Public Benefits Fund, under which the Focus on Energy Program is made available to residents and businesses throughout the state.  For more information on the Wisconsin DOA visit


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NOTE TO EDITORS:  The attached tables provide details about the financial, energy and environmental savings generated by Wisconsin‘s Focus on Energy program.




July 1, 2001 – December 31, 2005







Electricity Kilowatt-hour Savings





Natural Gas Therms Savings






Annual Dollar Value of Energy Savings







To put these savings into perspective, the total savings to date of 811 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 40 million therms is equivalent to:

·         The amount of energy produced by burning 4,059 rail car loads of coal.

·         Meeting the electricity needs of the town of Oconto Falls, Wis. for more than 81.2 years.

·         The same energy value as 2.2 million barrels of oil.

·         The amount of electricity consumed annually by approximately 81,189 average homes in Wisconsin.




July 1, 2001 – December 31, 2005

Nitrogen Oxides

Sulfur Dioxide

Greenhouse Gas

Carbon Dioxide


Nearly 5.1 million pounds

Nearly 10 million pounds

More than 2.2 billion pounds

Nearly 40 pounds


NOTES:  Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide are considered primary causes of acid rain.  Greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is linked to global climate change.  Mercury is a neurotoxin in low doses, affecting the function and development of the nervous system.