Increased investment in Focus on Energy will save ratepayers millions

MADISON — In a decision that will create jobs and help homeowners and businesses save millions, the Public Service Commission (PSC) voted yesterday to increase support for Focus on Energy, the state’s energy efficiency program that has saved homeowners and businesses over $275,000,000 since its inception in 2000.

“Focus on Energy is a highly successful program that reduces energy bills, creates jobs, and helps protect our environment,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin. “We applaud the Public Service Commission for its great foresight in recognizing the important economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.”

Focus on Energy is a statewide program dedicated to reducing energy use and energy bills. For every $1 invested in Focus on Energy to date, homeowners and businesses have saved $3. Beyond lowering utility bills, reducing energy use helps substantially improve the health of our environment by reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The PSC voted yesterday to increase investment in Focus on Energy and set new targets that together would decrease energy use 1.5 percent annually by 2014. Homeowners and businesses could expect to save about $15 per month on their energy bills over the next four years as a result of these energy savings.

“With the ever-rising cost of energy, it’s refreshing to see a policy that will actually help reduce energy bills,” said Reopelle. “Energy efficiency will help insulate homeowners and businesses from the rising costs of fossil fuels.”

Energy efficiency also creates thousands of jobs in the state. Focus on Energy has already created over 16,000 jobs in the state, and yesterday’s decision ensures the program will continue to create at least 4,000 more jobs per year, according to an independent analysis.

“Yesterday’s decision is going to save homeowners and businesses millions of dollars, put thousands of Wisconsinites to work and improve the quality of our environment,” said Reopelle. “It is a major victory for Wisconsin, but it is also only a start. Now, we must work to pass a strong energy efficiency standard in the legislature that will accelerate the amazing benefits of energy efficiency.”