Gov. Doyle: Announces energy efficiency efforts save state more than $268 million a year

Contacts: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

                Timothy Le Monds, Public Service Commission, 608-266-9600

Focus on Energy Program Helps Residents and Businesses Save Energy and Money

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, has helped Wisconsin residents and businesses save more than $268 million in annual energy costs. The program is just one of the many efforts Governor Doyle has led to help Wisconsin residents and businesses save money through improved energy efficiency.

“The Focus on Energy Program has worked very hard with Wisconsin residents and businesses to lower energy costs and reduce their environmental impact,” Governor Doyle said. “We all know the cheapest way to lower carbon emissions is through energy conservation and Wisconsin’s efforts have resulted in significant savings for our residents and businesses.”

Governor Doyle recently launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state’s clean energy economy and create jobs. The package calls for updating renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin’s fuel from renewable sources by 2025 and sets a realistic goal of a 2 percent annual reduction in energy consumption by 2015. A comprehensive economic assessment of the package found that it would directly create at least 15,000 green jobs in Wisconsin by 2025.

Since taking office, Governor Doyle has advanced an aggressive agenda to position Wisconsin as a leader in a growing green economy. Wisconsin has adopted renewable portfolio standards, invested in green job creation, led the advancement of research in cellulosic ethanol and biomass, and made great strides to increase energy efficiency in homes, businesses and government buildings.

Focus on Energy builds on the Governor’s energy efficiency and clean energy efforts through energy-saving programs for homes and businesses. The Focus on Energy program has helped businesses from all sectors and sizes install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. As a result, businesses have reduced energy consumption by more than 1.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) and more than 76 million therms, resulting in annual energy costs savings of over $172 million a year.

In addition, residential programs have resulted in more than $84 million in annual energy cost savings since 2001. The program makes purchasing energy efficiency products easier by providing Cash-Back Rewards on things like qualified water heaters, heating and cooling systems and lighting and other products. The program also provides professional advice to residents wanting to build energy efficient homes or assess the efficiency of their existing homes.

The total energy savings are equivalent to:

* The amount of electricity consumed annually by approximately 197,000 average Wisconsin homes.

* The amount of natural gas consumed annually by about 100,000 average Wisconsin homes.

* Almost 4.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide.

* The amount of electricity produced by burning 9,794 rail car loads of coal.

* The same energy value as 5.5 million barrels of oil.