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Smart Energy Use is Everyone’s Business

Local businesses are key targets for an energy-saving initiative being launched this month by Black River Falls Municipal Utilities and its power supplier, WPPI Energy.

“There is no better time for local businesses to take action to reduce their operating expenses by saving energy,” said Jerry Ewert, General Manager. “We we want our commercial and industrial customers to know that Black River Falls Municipal Utilities is here to help.”

Black River Falls Municipal Utilities and WPPI Energy offer programs, technical assistance and financial incentives to help businesses operate more efficiently, and now the utilities are ramping up efforts to encourage customers to participate. This month, a direct mail piece to commercial and industrial utility customers highlights some of the utility’s key programs for businesses:

  • New Construction Design Assistance
    Construction projects present an ideal opportunity to design and build for greater efficiency, performance and comfort. Black River Falls Municipal Utilities’s New Construction Design Assistance program offers technical and design assistance for new commercial buildings. In some cases, financial incentives are available to help overcome financial barriers to making efficiency improvements.

  • RFP for Energy Efficiency
    The Request for Proposals (RFP) for Energy Efficiency encourages investment in cost-effective, energy-saving projects by inviting large power customers to submit competitive proposals for upgrades to equipment and systems within existing facilities. Grant funding of up to $250,000 is awarded across the WPPI Energy system in each round of project bidding. Applications for the current round of funding are due March 26.

  • Shared Savings Program
    This program provides up-front capital to offset the initial cost of energy-saving projects with lasting results. Businesses or organizations may borrow up to $50,000 at a low interest rate, repaying the funding in monthly installments on their utility bill. Often, payments are less than the energy cost savings, resulting in a positive cash flow for the customer.
Outreach to commercial and industrial customers is one part of an overall strategy by Black River Falls Municipal Utilities, and the 50 other member utilities of WPPI Energy, to ramp up energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable efforts among all customers.

“Our public power utilities are working together to help control costs through the more efficient use of energy,” said Jerry Ewert. “By helping customers reduce their energy use, we can defer or delay the need to build expensive new power plants, lessen the negative impacts of burning fossil fuels, and help customers keep their bills down. When our local businesses remain competitive, our local economy is strengthened, and our whole community is better off.”

The emphasis on commercial and industrial customers—traditionally the largest users of energy—represents the first step in a comprehensive outreach plan by Black River Falls Municipal Utilities and WPPI Energy. Residential customers will also receive information about energy efficiency and conservation opportunities and services throughout the year.

To learn more, visit the "For Your Business" Energy Management Services section of our web site.

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