In conjunction with the 2011 Wisconsin Energy Expo, MEEA analyzed the historical impact of Wisconsin's long-term investment in energy efficiency and what current trends in program funding and savings can mean for Wisconsin's residential and business energy customers, and for the state's economy.
In the ten years since Wisconsin's statewide Focus on Energy program was created, Wisconsin’s utility consumers have cumulatively saved billions of kilowatt-hours of electricity, and hundreds of millions of therms of natural gas. The already-installed energy efficiency measures that created these savings will generate additional even larger savings over their continuing life span.
On an annual basis, energy efficiency savings in 2021 could reach over 4 billion kWh and over 150 million therms under the current Focus on Energy funding levels. Those savings could increase to almost 6 billion kWh of electricity and over 200 million therms of natural gas annually by 2021 if energy efficiency funding in Wisconsin is expanded as the state Public Service Commission has recommended.
Currently, an estimated 5,400 jobs in 2011 have resulted from Wisconsin’s ongoing energy efficiency investment. Wisconsin's current energy efficiency investment could create an additional 900 to 4,900 net new jobs by 2021. Expanded funding could mean expanding that job growth to 6,300 to 9,200 jobs net new jobs over current levels.
Energy efficiency savings have given Wisconsin residents more money in their pockets, allowing them to purchase additional goods and services in their local communities. Wisconsin’s businesses have also benefitted from the Focus programs, as reduced energy consumption has lowered their operating costs, thereby making them more competitive in regional, national, and global markets. Wisconsin communities have also benefitted from the addition of new, local jobs from the manufacturing of energy efficient products, the installation of these products in homes and businesses, and from consumers spending their energy bill savings in their communities.