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The Wisconsin Energy Efficiency (WE2) Program delivered residential and commercial programming for the City of Milwaukee (Me2) and the City of Madison (Green Madison) as well as commercial only programming for the City of Racine (Re2). Direct incentives and loan products for homeowners and business owners were offered, with the goal to achieve at least 15 percent in energy savings. At the time of this report, there were more than 2,000 residential energy efficiency upgrades completed and more than 300 commercial energy efficiency upgrades completed. The average energy savings for the WE2 Program’s portfolio of residential and commercial projects exceeds 15 percent and is closer to 30 percent energy savings. Combined energy savings of both residential and commercial activities were: 20,937,369 kWh; 1,018,907 Therms; and 31,655 gallons of heating oil; or at least 332,788 MMBTUs; or at least $3,444,828 in estimated energy costs saved. Conservative economic impact estimates include the employment of more than 100 residential auditors and contractors, more than 90 commercial contractors, and more than $41 million in total project costs expended in the targeted communities. WECC, along with the Partner Cities, attempted to create energy efficiency programming that helped to increase economic activity, increase workforce opportunities, andmore » save energy in three of the largest communities in Wisconsin. Homeowners were assisted through the residential process by Energy Advocates, consultants, and contractors. Business owners were assisted through the commercial process by Program Advocates, contractors and trade allies. Contractors in both the residential and commercial programs were educated and trained by the many offerings provided by WECC. Together, all parties involved made the WE2 Program successful. The most prominent innovative approaches employed in the Me2 and Green Madison programs for residential retrofits were: use of a loan loss reserve approach to improve access to lower cost financing; a primary focus on “community-based” marketing and outreach through local organizations to attract program participants; use of Energy Advocates to facilitate homeowner understanding during participation of the retrofit process; increase in financial incentives, especially to achieve higher project savings; and additional building science and sales training for participating contractors, as well as the use of a Community Workforce Agreement (CWA). The most prominent innovative approaches used in the commercial building retrofit programs for the Me2, Green Madison and Re2 programs were: development and use of innovative customer financing through loan-loss reserves for small commercial building retrofits; cash collateral advance account for larger projects which mitigated the financial risk of lenders; and the ultimate development of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program in the City of Milwaukee. Other approaches included: increased customer financial incentives, especially for small commercial projects, in excess of the incentives available from the Focus on Energy program. Each Partner City’s commercial program was built on existing Focus on Energy programming, which allowed the WE2 Program to leverage experience from Focus on Energy personnel to help promote participation, and encourage more extensive retrofits. Several legacy items will continue into the future, while there will be ongoing attempts to create a sustainable program. In the future, homeowners in Milwaukee and Madison will continue to have opportunities for incentives through the Focus on Energy program, as well as loan products being offered through Me2 and Green Madison. Similarly, business owners will continue to benefit from incentives through the Focus on Energy program, as well as loan products being offered through Me2 and Green Madison. Finally, the most recent development and implementation of C-PACE for large commercial building owners or business owners in Milwaukee may have substantial economic impacts. C-PACE may have similar impacts in Madison should they choose to implement the program in the near future. The WE2 Program’s immediate economic activity, workforce development, and energy savings coupled with long-term opportunities such as C-PACE provide a strong platform for the future, and could have only been created through meaningful collaboration.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant; Better Buildings Neighborhood Program; Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Program; WECC; Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation; WE2; Me2; Green Madison; Re2; Milwaukee; Madison; Racine; Residential; Commercial; Energy Advocate; Financing