|For Immediate Release
Contact: Mitch Brey, RePower Madison
MADISON, WI — Despite pledging to increase energy efficiency efforts, MGE is lobbying for a bill that cuts $7 million from Focus on Energy, the state’s popular energy efficiency program. The bill (AB804) passed the WI Assembly on Thursday, and goes next to the Senate (SB654).
MGE customers expressed strong support for energy efficiency during MGE’s Community Energy Conversations and MGE’s Energy 2030 Framework commits to:
“Increase energy efficiency and conservation as an important energy resource by
working with customers to reduce growth in energy use.”
Mitch Brey with RePower Madison said, “MGE should drop their support for legislation that cuts energy efficiency and conflicts with MGE’s pledge. MGE customers would be hurt by a cut to Focus on Energy as it would reduce their opportunity to lower their utility bills.”
Current funding is 1.2% of all utility annual operating revenues. The bill would change that to 1.2% of revenues derived from retail sales, resulting in a $7 million cut to Focus on Energy, a program that returns over $3 in savings and $6 in net economic benefits for every $1 invested.
In addition, AB804 relaxes pollution rules for sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain. The bill originally proposed changes to enforcement of Digger’s Hotline, MGE’s stated reason for supporting the bill, but those sections were removed before passage.
“Madison has a goal to reduce energy consumption by 50% by 2030 in their Sustainability Plan. For Madison to be a leader and create a just energy future, MGE must significantly expand energy efficiency programs, not cut them,” said Don Ferber, Chair of RePower Madison.
“MGE should stand up for their customers and against attacks on energy efficiency,” said Brey.
RePower Madison seeks fair and affordable energy bills while transforming Madison into a recognized leader in clean energy.