WECC: WECC Praises Signing of Energy Bill

Media Contact:
Tim Wirtz
Hoffman York
414-225-9522
[email protected]

For Immediate Release

– Governor’s signing seen as opportunity for Wisconsin to be a national leader in energy efficiency and renewable
energy –

MADISON, Wis. (March 20, 2006) – Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) believes Governor Jim Doyle’s signing of SB 459 is a win for all Wisconsin residents and businesses. The bill, which puts into motion some of the recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will secure funding for Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative. The bill also requires utilities to generate ten percent of all energy sold in the state from renewable energy sources by 2015.

An examination of Focus on Energy shows its programs return nearly $6 in benefits to state residents and businesses for every dollar spent. “These programs help stabilize our energy rates, promote economic development and improve our environmental quality,” said Janet Brandt, WECC Executive Director. “This bill ensures that Wisconsin will appropriately invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy long into the future.”

The results energy efficiency and renewable energy programs have generated in Wisconsin speak for themselves. With thousands of businesses, from building contractors and retailers to engineering firms partnering with Focus on Energy, the program has generated more than $260 million in sales of energy efficient goods and services. These sales translate into jobs, too. Because Wisconsin imports all of the fossil fuels used in the state, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments mean more Wisconsin jobs than does the generation of energy. The passage of SB 459 reaffirms ongoing economic development in Wisconsin in the form of jobs created for electricians to install renewable energy systems, builders to build energy efficient homes and retail staff to sell ENERGY STARÒ qualified appliances, electronics and lighting.

“There are so many positives for Wisconsin that stem from passage of this bill,” added Brandt. “The economic impact will continue to grow as more jobs are created in fields that are either new or expanding. In addition, the environmental impact is immeasurable. Saving energy through energy efficiency and renewable energy not only costs about half as much as generating new energy, it also protects the environment. Since 2001, Focus programs have prompted energy savings the equivalent of more than two million barrels of oil and more than two billion pounds of CO2 emissions.”

For more than 25 years WECC has been a leader in the design and implementation of energy efficiency programs such as Focus on Energy. Since July 2001, more than 600,000 residents and businesses have worked with Focus on Energy to better manage their energy use.

About the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation

Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wis. Established in 1980, WECC is a national leader in designing and implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that partner with private businesses to deliver value to consumers. It champions innovative energy initiatives that deliver short- and long-term economic and environmental benefits to consumers, businesses and policy makers. For more information about WECC, call 800.969.9322 or visit weccusa.org.