Electricity meter

In Wisconsin, it pays to get rid of your old, energy-wasting refrigerator.

Beard: “We pay you money for your old refrigerator, and more importantly for some people is we’ll come to your house and pick it up!”

John Beard is with Focus on Energy. For more than 15 years, the utility-funded program has helped customers become more energy efficient.

For example, the program helps pay for energy audits and distributes free LED light bulbs and low-flow shower heads. It also offers incentives to upgrade heating and cooling equipment.

Beard: “Those financial incentives are a way to offset the initial cost of making an investment in energy efficiency.”

Beard says that in 2017, participating customers saved enough energy overall to power roughly 70,000 homes.

The program demonstrates that energy efficiency is a cost-effective way to reduce carbon pollution and save people money. Beard says each dollar invested in the program generates more than five dollars in benefits.

Beard: “That’s economic benefits, that’s reduced fuel costs, and reduced pollution, so we think we’re a growing economic engine for the state, and that cost-benefit ratio is pretty hard to argue with.”

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credit: USAF / Aaron J. Jenne