Milwaukee Energy Efficiency Provides Incentives for Saving Energy
Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) helps homeowners and business owners make energy-efficiency improvements by paying upfront costs of making energy-efficient changes that save money over time.
The Me2 program has funded 27 projects across the city, helping businesses such as Too Clean Laundromat, on Lisbon Avenue, whose owner, Everet Kamikawa, was able to replace his 30-year-old, water-and-energy-wasting washing machines. Kamikawa saw a resultant one-third reduction in utility costs.
“Me2 has attracted strong interest for projects that deploy LED technology because the return on investment is so quick,” comments Erick Shambarger, of the city of Milwaukee’s Office of Environmental Sustainability. “Gas stations, for example, use the funds to switch to energy-saving LED lights for their canopies. Energy incentives are available in different amounts, depending on the size of the business or the amount of energy savings the project is projected to generate. A maximum of $300,000 is available for a large project that would generate energy savings of at least 25 percent,” Shambarger notes.
Expanded interest in the program comes after Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, appearing with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, recently announced that Milwaukee would join the Better Buildings Challenge, a campaign to encourage building owners to pledge to reduce their energy costs 20 percent by 2020.