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Dane County and Alliant Energy-WPL Team Up to Cut Energy Costs $27,000 Per Year at County Health Care Center

For more information contact:

Brett Hulsey, Dane County Supervisor, 608-334-4994
Janice Mathis, Alliant Energy, 608-252-3955
Sharyn Wisniewski, Dane County Executive’s Office, 608-267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/8/2002

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Verona--Dane County officials toured a county facility today that is tapping a program offered by Alliant Energy-Wisconsin Power and Light (WP&L) to save the county tax dollars, and reduce energy costs, by installing energy efficient upgrades.

Through Alliant Energy-WPL’s Shared Savings program, lighting and HVAC efficiency improvements, and reduced maintenance costs at the county’s Badger Prairie Health Care Center in Verona are projected to reduce the facility’s annual energy costs by nearly $27,000 per year.

The public-private partnership allows the county to borrow $160,000 from Alliant Energy-WPL to complete the energy savings projects. Repayment of the borrowed funds would be made from the savings in energy expenditures resulting from using new, efficient equipment.

“We keep trying to find ways to do more with less in county government,” said Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. “This project makes so much sense. It saves money, saves energy, and cuts pollution. It allows us to fund these improvements without any tax levy,” said Falk. "It’s good to know that utility programs, such as Alliant Energy-WPL’s Shared Savings program, are available to help us reduce expenses.”

Badger Prairie is the first county building to participate in Alliant-WPL’s program.

Alliant Energy-WPL officials state that the Badger Prairie project can produce significant environmental improvements through reductions in carbon-dioxide, sulfur-dioxide, and nitrogen oxides totaling over 1.2 million pounds. It would take over 120,000 trees to provide the same level of carbon-dioxide reduction.

County Board Supervisor Brett Hulsey introduced the resolution to begin the program with Alliant Energy-WPL in December, and hopes Dane County’s partnership with the power company grows into something much bigger.

“This is a great way to save money, reduce energy waste and cut pollution,” said Hulsey. “If we apply energy savings programs to other county buildings, we could save taxpayers about $200,000 a year. The program could be a role model for making government buildings more energy-efficient throughout the state,” said Hulsey.

The lighting phase of the project, which started this week, replaces high wattage bulbs with lower wattage compact fluorescent bulbs and LED exit lights. For example, 200 watt bulbs are being replaced with 32 watt bulbs and 100 watt bulbs are being replaced with 23 watt bulbs. The new compact fluorescents will last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The new LED exit lights have a useful life of 25 years. These replacements are expected to save $7,700 annually.

Other lighting upgrades involve replacing ballasts and installing lighting controls such as dimmers, and sensors that turn lights off when no one is present.

"We want to see the Shared Savings Program help our commercial and industrial customers, including the state, Dane County, and other local governments, cut their energy costs," said Kim Zuhlke, vice president of Engineering, Sales and Marketing at Alliant Energy-WPL. "This is a win for customers, taxpayers, and the environment."

Zuhlke said that since 1997, Alliant Energy-WPL’s Shared Savings program has helped Wisconsin businesses conserve more than 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity generated from a 175 megawatt power plant. That’s enough energy to supply nearly 70,000 homes for a full year. The program also has prevented over 4.8 million pounds of sulfur-dioxide, 2.4 million pounds of nitrogen oxides and 489,000 tons of carbon-dioxide from being emitted into the air, said Zuhlke.

The US Department of Energy estimates that local governments could save $3.4 billion nationwide with similar efficiency improvements.

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