La Crosse Energy Challenge Successful and Equitable

There was a huge response to the La Crosse Mayor’s Home Energy Challenge. Launched in September, (see EnergyOnWI Sept news) by Mayor Kabat with Xcel Energy and Focus on Energy as partners, the goal was to encourage 100 homeowners to improve their energy efficiency and help reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Beyond expectations, 332 households applied and City staff now are working to qualify them for one of the respective reward Tiers. The program was designed to help everyone save energy, regardless of economic status. Twenty-one percent of applicants were low-to-moderate income (Tier 2) and can qualify for a lower cost Whole Home Energy Assessment up front and higher rewards for energy efficiency improvements.

Thus far, 88 homeowners have completed their assessments, including 24 low-to-moderate income households, and they are awaiting proposals from contractors. Another 104 have scheduled their assessments including 64 Tier 1 and 40 Tier 2 households. Already, 15 homeowners have contracted for energy upgrades.

If La Crosse completed energy upgrades to 100 homes, homeowners would save a total of $42,945 on utility costs each year and prevent 324 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The US EPA greenhouse-gas equivalencies calculator shows the cumulative impacts of savings by 100 of its households below.