MATC honored for commitment to energy efficiency
College is first to receive 2019 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award

Freeman Staff

May 28, 2019

Representatives from Focus On Energy, We Energies, Edison Energy and the state, MATC Vice President Janice Falkenberg and others from the college gather for the presentation of MATC’s Energy Efficiency Excellence Award.
Submitted photo

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Area Technical College’s commitment to reducing energy waste has earned the college a 2019 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from Focus on Energy and its partner utility, We Energies.

“It’s great to see the efforts that you’re making to continue to sustain and also to be a relevant education facility within the community,” We Energies’ Jim Ward told those who attended an award ceremony for the college earlier this month.

The Energy Efficiency Excellence Award honors Focus on Energy customers who have shown a commitment to leading in energy efficiency, and MATC fits the profile. The college has completed, or is in the process of completing, 21 energy efficiency projects with Focus on Energy since the beginning of 2017. Those include:

■ Retrocommissioning across all college buildings

■ Converting approximately 25 percent of lighting to LED

■ Building shell upgrades

■ Geothermal for the entire Mequon campus The college took advantage of the energy expertise and financial incentives offered to customers of utilities that participate in the Focus on Energy program as it tries to meet the goal to reduce 50 percent of energy load use by 2030.

“All these things together speak loudly for their commitment to sustainability,” said Focus on Energy’s Tom Dragotta, energy advisor for MATC. “So I want to thank them for that and hope we can continue to work on future projects.”

Public Service Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Cameron Valcq was on hand to present the plaque to the college.

“For me, what is most impressive about this award is it underscores the collaboration between the utility (We Energies), Focus on Energy and the customer (MATC),” Valcq said before presenting the award. “And this is the type of excellent energy efficiency savings that we want to continue to see in the state.”

Janice Falkenberg, MATC vice president and general counsel, accepted the award on behalf of the college and thanked the diverse group of MATC workers in attendance, from trade and construction workers to facilities and management teams.

“We really appreciate everybody’s support and help on these projects,” Falkenberg said. “It’s made a huge difference for the college.”

MATC Facilities Planning, Sustainability and Operations Manager Virginia Routhe said in 2018 alone, the college invested about $2 million in infrastructure that directly impacted efficiency projects. Focus on Energy provided more than $200,000 in financial incentives for those projects. That initial incentive, coupled with annual energy savings, puts MATC’s payback on those energy efficiency projects at about eight years.

“We really do recognize that MATC benefits from these energy efficiency measures,” said Routhe. “We recognize that it makes MATC students more comfortable in the space that they have.”

Focus on Energy is working with utility companies across the state in the coming months to present 18 Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to outstanding businesses, schools and institutions.

The most recent evaluation report found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy programs creates $5.93 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs and reduced pollution.

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state’s investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control Wisconsin’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.