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Monday, June 28, 2010

Stevens Point spent over $1.5 million on energy usage in 2009

From an article by Nick Paulson in the Stevens Point Journal:

Stevens Point in 2009 spent more than $1.5 million on energy, used more than 73,000 million BTUs and emitted more than 21 million pounds of carbon dioxide, according to an inventory taken by the city.

As the city develops and implements a plan to cut its energy use, that inventory will be used as a benchmark with which to compare future use.

Where the biggest problems are depends on what the city's goal ultimately is: decreasing energy use, energy cost or carbon emissions.

Sustainability coordinator Joe Kottwitz said the Stevens Point Energy Team, which is creating the plan, hasn't decided specifically which to focus on yet. However, decreasing one likely will have positive effects on the others.

"If we use less energy and less electricity, odds are the taxpayers and ratepayers will receive those benefits," said Mayor Andrew Halverson, who also is a member of the team.

Regardless of which avenue the city chooses, the primary focus likely will be electricity, which has the highest consumption (41 percent), cost (64 percent) and carbon dioxide emissions (71 percent) in the city.

That is because the electricity comes from coal-fueled power plants, Kottwitz said, which kick out a lot of emissions. Lighting is the most expensive use of energy for the city, costing almost $1 million, partially because it is powered by electricity, and partially because about half the streetlights are owned by Wisconsin Public Service, which charges a maintenance fee in addition to electricity fees.

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