Are you looking for some easy ways, big and small, to save more energy in honor of Earth Day? Our friends at Focus on Energy took us through many different approaches that homeowners, farmers, businesses, and educators can use to save on energy in every part of their lives! Let’s dive into tips for ways that you can either start or continue saving energy this year with Focus on Energy!
Local Wisconsin businesses are doing their part in the name of ‘being green’ all over the state, but we cannot go on without mentioning the sustainable choices that New Glarus Brewing and Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese are making. From small to large businesses, sustainability is an important part of businesses across the state! Let’s hop into how New Glarus Brewing is doing its part.
One of Wisconsin’s most well-known breweries, New Glarus Brewing, is also one of the most sustainable breweries in the country and at this brewery, sustainability is a part of its ethos. Brewing itself requires a lot of energy consumption but with Focus on Energy, New Glarus Brewing has been able to implement a lot of things and ways to use energy wisely. Focus on Energy also offers financial incentives, gives opportunities to get technical resources, and provides options that can even benefit the Village of New Glarus. The more efficient New Glarus is now, the better they’ll be in the future!
And we cannot talk about sustainability in Wisconsin without talking about cheese producers and specifically Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese! Crave Brothers has taken a massive step toward sustainability by producing their cheeses with 100% renewable energy! So how is that possible? It is cow-powered! Cows produce a lot of waste (i.e. manure), so they take the waste and ferment it in their digesters. This then produces methane which Crave Brothers then takes to power an engine that eventually turns on the generator to create electricity! Currently, they are able to power the farm and cheese factory with an excess amount of energy.
You may be wondering what inspired Crave Brother to take this step towards sustainability? Well, they began by partnering with Focus on Energy to bring in their expertise and show them what technology is out there to start saving energy. They use them as a reinforcer and it helps them know that Focus is able to help offset the costs in the long run. Focus on Energy also helps them by giving recommendations on other energy-saving practices they could put in place to make the farm a more sustainable place to work!
Saving energy in your home may be on your list of priorities for 2022 and thanks to Focus on Energy, we have some tips to help you out! Not only does saving energy in your home help our great state but it also has incentives towards saving money for your future.
Alex Wehrley got to go on an adventure and meet three different homeowners to learn more about how they have used Focus on Energy to help them contribute to saving the planet as well as money in their own homes. One option is through solar panels and with Focus on Energy’s help there are incentives from them as well as from the federal government. Solar panels can help you save money on every energy bill and provide cost savings when you produce more energy than is needed for your own home.
Another way Focus on Energy can help with home savings is with an energy audit. An energy audit is a helpful, upfront way to learn more about simpler options to help make a giant impact and difference in your home that could potentially save money in the long run.
You can feel good while moving towards a Carbon Zero home and doing things that help improve our planet and the great state of Wisconsin. Many homeowners across the state are taking different steps towards a greater change. Focus on Energy is a great resource for knowledge on how to proceed to the next steps, ways to make the approach, and can provide you with federal and tax incentives.
And we cannot forget to mention how great Focus on Energy’s energy-saving packs is to help get a kick-start at saving energy in your home! These free packs are offered to Wisconsinites throughout the state and they are entirely FREE. Here are the 5 different packs: Focus Lightbulb Pack, Focus Decorative Light Pack, Focus Flood Light Pack, Focus Handheld Showerhead Pack, and the Focus Fixed Showerhead Pack. You can learn more about each of these packs you can get for free here in our blog, ‘How Wisconsinites Can Be More Energy Efficient’, on the Bobber!
When you decide the time has come to start saving money in your home or even with your business, you will definitely want to connect with a utility provider. Focus on Energy collaborates with utilities across the state to help customers make the more informed decisions about the next steps to take.
In Sun Prairie, Focus used Sun Prairie Utilities to help with the energy-saving ideas they had when building the newest school. Up in Superior at Superior Water, Light & Power they used local utility providers as well to create a functioning and efficient cutting board factory.
Along with the local utility providers, once you get started you will often also need the expertise of a trade ally. Focus on Energy provides a local trade ally network that has over 1,000 contractors across the state of Wisconsin, making it easy to find an expert near you to help you complete your energy-saving project!
Alex Wehrley, one of our Discover Wisconsin hosts, experienced the impact that Focus on Energy had on local businesses and those in their homes. Alex got to head out on the trips to both New Glarus Brewing Company and the Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese. She experiences firsthand what local businesses are doing to become more sustainable. To get familiar with homeowners that have begun to install solar panels on their houses and the impacts they have seen so far. She shares her thoughts after the production took place:
“Everyone I chatted with was extremely knowledgeable and passionate. I learned a ton! I had no idea small eco-friendly improvements to your home can make such a big impact. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable these changes can be.”
Josh Casey, another Discover Wisconsin host, that got to first-hand experience how Focus on Energy works with the trade allies and local utility companies shares his thoughts on the production:
“I’ve known about Focus on Energy for years, and even purchased a smart thermostat from them, but until working on this episode, I hadn’t really understood all of what they offer to home and business owners.
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot more time working on energy efficiency in my own home and business, so the timing of hosting an episode with FOE was perfect. I especially loved getting to see things in action like when we were on-site at a home in the middle of an air sealing project.
My favorite part of the episode was when we headed up to Superior to the Epicurean Cutting Board headquarters and got to see all the work they’ve done with FOE and their local utility to save significant amounts of energy during their manufacturing process.”
Thanks to our friends at Focus on Energy, taking part in saving our great state can be made easy! So what steps are you taking in 2022 to help be more sustainable in your own home, businesses, and elsewhere across Wisconsin? Let us know in the comments below!
About Focus on Energy: Focus on Energy is funded by 107 partnering utilities and electric cooperatives across the state. Customers of those energy providers are eligible for the expertise and financial incentives through Focus on Energy solutions and offerings. These solutions help Wisconsin homeowners, manufacturers, small business owners, farmers, municipalities, and other groups reduce energy waste, energy costs, and pollution.
Kortnee Hass: Social Media Coordinator for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.