Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency can take many forms. These range from advanced measures like high-performing appliances, efficient building design, and new technologies like LED lighting, to tried-and-true techniques like simply adding insulation.

The goal of energy efficiency is to get the same or better services (like well-lit rooms, hot showers and cold beverages) than before, while using less energy. It is generally the cheapest energy resource and saves people money while reducing the pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels.

Key Points

  • Energy efficiency cuts pollution by reducing the need to produce energy. Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency program, Focus on Energy, has kept millions of pounds of emissions from being created.[1]
  • Energy efficiency saves money for individuals and the public, and boosts the state economy; for every $1 invested in 2012, for example, Focus on Energy generated over $7 in benefits.[2]
  • Energy efficiency keeps money from being sent out of state to import fossil fuels, reinvests that money in local businesses, and cuts expenses for people and businesses statewide.
  • While other states set requirements for utilities to meet efficiency targets or to take all cost-effective energy efficiency steps, Wisconsin falls short by having no energy efficiency requirement.
Clean Wisconsin's Work

Making Wisconsin more energy efficient will help clean our air and water, reduce electricity bills, create jobs and make our state more energy independent.

In 2006, Clean Wisconsin played a critical role in helping develop and establish Act 141, a landmark law that doubled Wisconsin’s investment in energy efficiency. It was a critical first step, but it represents only the beginning of the energy savings that can be achieved in the state.

In addition to lowering energy bills, Wisconsin’s statewide Focus on Energy program helps create thousands of jobs in the state. A bipartisan poll conducted in January 2012 shows that 68% of Wisconsin voters recognize that energy efficiency projects will help create new jobs.

In 2010, the Public Service Commission authorized a major increase funding for Focus on Energy. However, the legislature rescinded that decision in early 2011, and Clean Wisconsin is working with legislators and our business allies to restore funding to Focus on Energy.

Related Topic Pages

Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program. Funded by the state’s energy utilities, it has produced hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and assisted hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents and businesses in improving energy efficiency and implementing clean energy technology.

Building Energy Standards
Efficient building involves design, technology and specifications to reduce the energy use of a building. One key method of decreasing these footprints statewide is through the use of building energy codes, which set minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and construction of new and renovated buildings.


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Please cite this resource as: Clean Wisconsin, Inc. “Energy Efficiency.” Clean Wisconsin Enviropedia. Retrieved from