Wisconsin is sitting on a vast reserve of energy, waiting to be used. However, this energy is not in the form of coal, oil or natural gas. Rather, we are rich in the potential to get more work done with the electricity and natural gas that we already use, through improved energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency measures offer a cost-effective and simple opportunity to solve the state’s biggest energy challenges. By reducing demand for electricity and natural gas, energy efficiency measures can prevent the need to build new power plants and ease pressure on limited fuel supplies, bringing a variety of benefits for the economy and for the environment of the Midwest. And at the same time, energy efficiency offers large potential for citizens and businesses to save on energy bills.
Opportunities to improve energy efficiency are everywhere. Homeowners can improve weather sealing and install high-quality appliances, saving energy and improving comfort. Businesses and institu- tions can take advantage of improved lighting systems and high-efficiency ventilation. Manufacturers can improve production through technologies such as efficient motors and precise controls.
While Wisconsin has taken important steps to improve energy efficiency, much more remains to be done. To take full advantage of all cost-effective opportunities for improved energy efficiency, the state should expand its policy support for ef- ficiency programs.