Focus on Energy Helps Residents and Businesses Cut Costs by $61 Million

Wisconsin residents and businesses have cut their annual utility bills by more than $61 million with the help of Focus on Energy.

Focus on Energy Helps Residents and Businesses Cut Costs by $61 Million

- Energy savings also helps protect Wisconsin's environment and fuel economic development -

MADISON, Wis. (March 22, 2005) - Wisconsin residents and businesses have cut their annual utility bills by more than $61 million with the help of Focus on Energy. The state's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative also has helped reduce Wisconsin's electricity consumption by more than 572 million annual kilowatt-hours (kWh) and its yearly natural gas use by more than 27 million therms, since the program's inception in July 2001. Combined, that's enough energy to meet the electric needs of Stoughton, Wisconsin's 12,000-plus residents for more than nine years.

The program has also proved to be a sound investment. Based on an independent analysis, the state gets a net return of $5.70 for every dollar spent on Focus on Energy programs.

"Energy efficiency is good for Wisconsin residents and businesses," said Dan Schooff, administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Energy, which oversees Focus on Energy. "Efficient energy use translates into savings for homeowners, schools, government agencies, businesses and industries," Schooff said. "Focus on Energy has promoted economic development and improved Wisconsin's environmental quality."

In the first quarter of the current program year, Wisconsin residents saved more than
15 million kWh of electricity through Focus on Energy's broad range of energy saving programs that include ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and lighting, insulation upgrades, energy efficient homes and renewable energy systems.

"The average homeowner spends $1,400 every year on utility bills," said Janet Brandt, program director for Focus on Energy. "Making smarter energy decisions can lower residents' energy costs by one third without sacrificing features or style."

To date, businesses have experienced more than $34 million in energy savings; that has helped offset rising energy costs and improved their bottom line.

"Focus on Energy experts have worked with hundreds of Wisconsin businesses by demonstrating practical ways that they can implement energy and cost saving strategies that meet their organization's specific needs," said Schooff. "This isn't a cookie cutter approach. Focus on Energy understands that every business's energy usage is different. Customized programs are helping all businesses, from industrial companies to local family farms."

In addition to monetary savings, the increased demand for energy efficient products for homes and businesses also had a positive impact on state business with the potential to create
more than 2,500 new full time jobs and yearly sales of more than $186 million.

By reducing the amount of fossil fuel that must be burned to power and heat homes and businesses, Focus on Energy is helping reduce the amount of fuel imported to the state and aiming to keep Wisconsin's environment clean for future generations. Energy saving measures implemented through Focus on Energy has prevented the emission of more than 1.5 billion pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the burning of
286,016 tons of coal to generate electricity.

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin. Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin's businesses and residents cut their utility bills by more than $61 million - reducing their energy consumption by more than 572 million kilowatt-hours and more than 27 million therms of natural gas. For more information, call 800.762.7077 or visit

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EDITOR'S NOTE: The attached tables provide details about the financial, energy and environmental savings generated by Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program.

July 1, 2001 - September 30, 2004

Electricity kWh Savings:
Business - 337,648,191
Residential - 229,954,326
Renewable Energy - 4,428,663
Total - 572,031,180

Natural Gas Therms Savings:
Business - 21,785,562
Residential - 5,411,697
Renewable Energy - 195,728
Total - 27,392,987

Energy Cost Savings
Business - $34,661,416
Residential - $25,773,135
Renewable Energy - $581,434
Total - $61,015,985

To put these savings in to perspective, the total savings to date of 572 million kWh and
27 million therms is equivalent to:

Preventing the annual emissions from more than 115,623 cars.
The same energy value as 1.5 million barrels of oil.
The energy produced by burning 2,860 rail car loads of coal.
Meeting the annual electricity needs of approximately 57,433 average Wisconsin homes and the annual natural gas needs of approximately 28,153 typical Wisconsin homes.

July 1, 2001 - September 30, 2004

Nitrogen Oxides - 3,534,508 pounds
Sulfur Dioxide - 6,980,424 pounds
Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide - 1,579,185,688
Mercury - 28 pounds

NOTES: Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide are considered primary causes of acid rain. Greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is linked to global climate change. Mercury is a neurotoxin in low doses, affecting the function and development of the nervous system.

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