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Companies Push Lawmakers Not To Cut Funding For State’s Energy Efficiency Program

Green Energy-Related Businesses Speaking Out Against Proposal To Slash Funding For Focus On Energy Program

solar home
Stephen Rees (CC-BY-NC-ND)  

More companies that help construct so-called “green” buildings are trying to convince state lawmakers not to cut about 7 percent from Focus On Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program.

Large Wisconsin utilities said their customers wind up getting double-charged for the Focus On Energy program. The companies back a bill that would base customer fees on utility retail sales instead of on operating revenues.

But that would slice $7 million a year from the program.

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John Miceli, of Eppstein-Uhen Architects, in Milwaukee said his firm has designed about a dozen projects for clients who have received Focus grants to pay for greener features like solar panels. Miceli said it would be too bad if there was less financial assistance.

“As architects, we want to design more energy efficient buildings. But clients want more energy efficient buildings as well,” Miceli said.

The electric companies hope the state Senate gives final legislative approval to the bill on Tuesday.