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Energy Efficiency: For Businesses both Small and Great

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Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

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  • Feb 4, 2023

"From what I've seen, the benefits of energy efficiency have largely accrued to the largest energy users, which is our industrial and manufacturing sector," said Public Service Commission Chair, Rebecca Cameron Valcq.  Defending Wisconsin’s recent proposal to double utility contributions to their energy efficiency program, Valcq continued, “It matters because if energy efficiency measures can help to drive down energy costs, then those manufacturers are going to be more likely to remain in Wisconsin, or even expand in Wisconsin."  If manufacturing within the state expands, recent investments will be money well spent.  Two years ago, Gov. Tony Evers proposed to double the contribution from utilities for the state’s energy efficiency program under the 2021-23 budget, which would have generated an additional $100 million for The Focus on Energy program. 

But what of the smaller shops, stores and offices we visit that have been negatively impacted by COVID or that are simply no longer open for business.  If utilities analyze usage data of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), they can be better equipped to meet their individual and unique needs.  Helping small business owners to reduce their energy usage saves time and energy.

To date, MidAmerican has invested and plans to invest a total of $355 million into their energy efficiency program.  “MidAmerican is excited about this plan because it’s something we developed with lots of input from multiple stakeholders and energy efficiency experts”, said Erin Rasmussen, MidAmerican Director of Energy Efficiency.  “Today we offer a robust energy efficiency portfolio of programs. If this five-year plan is approved, these cost-effective programs will be improved and enhanced with our customers in mind, making it easier to participate and providing more opportunities to save. And we’ve added innovative programs for income-qualified customers to make it easier for them to take advantage of our energy efficiency programs that will help lower energy usage and future monthly bills.”

For residents and companies, great and small, energy efficiency is reducing costs and propelling many toward their net zero goals.  As electricity prices continue to rise and regulation for clean power become active, energy efficiency programs will be instrumental for so many. 

"We have got to flip the script, and we have to do it now because energy efficiency has got to continue to play a pivotal role…as part of this transition,” concluded Valcq. 


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