November 10, 2023
Wisconsin communities named as national renewable energy leaders
Public power utilities in Wisconsin continue receiving national recognition from the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for their communities’ participation in renewable energy programs.
NREL evaluated the renewable energy efforts of utilities in four categories and released lists of the top 10 utilities across the nation. Muscoda Utilities, River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU), Stoughton Utilities, and Waterloo Utilities all earned spots, with River Falls being recognized in two areas. The four utilities are all not-for-profit, locally owned utilities. They are members of WPPI Energy, a wholesale power provider owned by the membership it serves.
Green Power Sales Rate
Waterloo Utilities received second place in the nation and RFMU ranked third, up from seventh in 2021, on the list for Green Power Sales Rate. The Green Power Sales Rate compares the ratio of a utility’s renewable energy sales to total sales. In 2022, renewable energy accounted for nearly 17% of Waterloo Utilities’ sales and 8% of RFMU’s sales.
Green Power Participation Rate
The Green Power Participation Rate measures the percentage of customers who participate in a utility’s renewable or “green” energy programs. In 2022, nearly 15% of RFMU customers voluntarily participated in Choose Renewable, putting the utility in second place.
Receiving ninth place for Green Power Participation was Muscoda Utilities, with over 5% of customers participating. Stoughton Utilities placed 10th in the nation with just under 5%.
Reaching toward a zero-carbon future
“Time has shown that our member utilities and their customers are leaders when it comes to renewable energy programs,” said WPPI Energy CEO Mike Peters. “It is apparent, based on these results, that accessible renewable energy is more important than ever for residents in the communities we serve.”
Customer participation in the WPPI Energy membership’s Choose Renewable program helped the communities of Muscoda, Stoughton and Waterloo and River Falls’ Renewable Energy Block Program earn this recognition. The program allows customers to sign up to increase their monthly bill by a few dollars to offset their energy usage with power from renewable resources such as solar, wind and biogas. One Choose Renewable block of 300 kilowatt-hours (kWh) costs $2 per month. A typical home can run on the equivalent of two to three blocks.
All four utilities are members of WPPI Energy, a not-for-profit joint action agency owned by the members it serves. WPPI Energy has set a target to become carbon neutral by 2050.
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Member-owned, not-for-profit WPPI Energy serves 51 locally owned electric utilities. Together, WPPI members have built a diverse, competitive and responsible power supply. They share modern technologies and forward-thinking services, and they speak with a unified voice for effective energy policy advocacy.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. For more information visit nrel.gov.