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Focus On Energy Wisconsin's Initiative To Reduce Industrial Energy Consumption

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Energy Conversion/Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.568.1 - 7.568.6



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Paper Authors

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Glenn Wrate

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Focus on Energy – Wisconsin’s Initiative to Reduce Industrial Energy Consumption

Glenn Wrate Milwaukee School of Engineering


This paper presents an overview of a statewide program to assure an ample supply of reasonably priced, reliable energy for Wisconsin. To help meet this goal, the State of Wisconsin has embarked on a three-year, $64 million initiative to improve the energy usage of its major industries. The initiative focuses on three aspects of energy use: increased energy efficiency, decreased peak demand, and the inclusion of energy use as a consideration in the decision making and design processes used in industry. Rather than relying on incentives to improve energy usage, as was done in the past, this initiative relies on the process of market transformation: show all the users in a given market sector the benefits of improved energy usage and let the marketplace force the individual users to change. Ancillary benefits of this program include the reduction of the environmental impact from energy use and production, the ability to meet all the energy needs from within the state, and promotion economic growth in rural areas. This program is in addition to the other programs in the state that focus on residential energy use, renewable energy sources, and environmental research. The Milwaukee School of Engineering, as part of a nine-organization team, has been awarded the contract to administer the program. Some of the tasks in the market transformation process include: identify industries to partner with, provide technical assistance and energy audits, develop energy efficiency improvement plans, and measure and verify energy savings.

This paper discusses the genesis of the program – why are we doing this rather than the energy suppliers (utilities), the contract team – the development and organization of the team, or who does what and why, and the first year’s efforts – the implementation phase.


The past decade has seen a signification change in the operation of electrical utilities in the United States. The process of deregulation has resulted in growth of merchant plants, energy marketers, and major blackouts. Before deregulation the utilities were guaranteed a rate of return on their investments and monopoly control over their service territory. In return, the utilities were forced to provide electrical service to all their customers at a reasonable cost. Public Service Commissions (PSCs) scrutinized the actions of the utilities to assure costs charged their customers were reasonable and that the actions of the utilities were in the best interest of the public. The latter resulted in PSCs requiring investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to invest in renewable energy research and develop energy conservation programs for their customers. The utilities were evaluated on the level of service they provided, i.e., outrage rates, power quality, and response to customer’s complaints.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition CopyrightÓ 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Wrate, G. (2002, June), Focus On Energy Wisconsin's Initiative To Reduce Industrial Energy Consumption Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10840

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