Wisconsin Governor Tony Ever’s 2021-2023 budget makes investments in clean energy, workforce development, and electric vehicle infrastructure, reflecting many of the recommendations from the Climate Task Force. It includes $500,000 annually under the Wisconsin Fast Forward framework, which will enable training for green jobs across the state, and $4 million in funding for the creation of a renewable and clean energy research grant administered by the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.
To promote energy efficiency the budget would double the required utility contribution for the Focus on Energy program to generate an additional $100 million in annual funding, and reserve a portion of the additional Focus on Energy funds for the Public Service Commission to develop a low-income customer track to offer enhanced incentives for eligible customers. Also, it allocates $10 million annually for grants to school districts to conduct energy efficiency projects in school buildings. It creates a sales and use tax exemption for property used primarily to store or facilitate the storage of energy produced by a solar, wind or biogas renewable energy system. Finally, the budget directs the Public Service Commission to establish an Innovative Technologies Pilot Program, which would set a voluntary goal for utilities to collectively spend $100 million over five years on a pilot for a range of innovative technologies, including storage and microgrids.
Now that the public hearing process on the budget has ended, the budget will go to the Joint Committee on Finance.