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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Waukesha mayor and others tell success stories

From a post by Don Albinger, VP of Renewable Energy, on the blog of Johnson Controls:

I was very pleased to be one of the speakers at the recent Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit in Milwaukee. The session topic was the Role of Local Governments in Moving Towards Energy Independence with Renewable Energy – and I was honored to appear with a distinguished group of people who are doing just that:

Larry Nelson, Mayor of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Larry talked about the work he and his colleagues are doing to demonstrate that cities can be fiscally and environmentally responsible at the same time. . . .

Jeanne Hoffman, Facilities and Sustainability Manager for the City of Madison, Wisconsin. Jeanne talked about MadiSUN – the city’s solar energy program aimed at doubling installations of solar electric and solar hot water systems by 2001. . . .

Dave Merritt, Dane County, Wisconsin. Dave correctly pointed out that “the key to energy independence and climate change is local.” And he provided an excellent example of how Dane County is doing more than giving that lip service: Cow Power is the County’s program to build two digester systems to turn cow manure from a number of dairy farms in the County into electricity. . . .

And Ann Beier, director of the City of Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability. Ann painted a clear picture of the critical role Milwaukee city government is playing in energy independence by setting the right example, testing new technologies, and developing innovative programs and policies. Ann talked about the progress the city is making in meeting its goal to reduce energy use by 15% by 2012 by installing solar electric and geothermal systems in municipal buildings, and converting city stoplights to high-efficiency LED fixtures – a step the city is also studying for municipal parking garages. . . .

In my mind, the stories told by each one of these speakers demonstrate how we already have the means, the funding mechanisms, the technologies and the expertise to put energy efficiency and renewable energy to work in city halls and county courthouses across America to save money, create jobs and protect the environment.

Waukesha, Madison, Dane County and Milwaukee – they’re all leading the way. A lot more like them need to find the will to join in.

What do you think?

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