Governor Evers signed an Executive Order (EO #38) In August, 2019, that established a state goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 under the purview of a newly created Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy. The Office will ensure that the State is fulfilling the carbon reduction goals (EO #52) of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord as well. The EO is designed to move the state to a clean energy economy to create thousands of family-supporting jobs, support Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, improve health, and help mitigate the costly impacts of climate change to the state’s economy, natural resources and quality of life.
Local governments and tribes are engaged in moving to energy independence already and their success will be an important factor in helping the state to reach its clean energy and carbon reduction goals . Energy On Wisconsin is conducting a survey of Energy Independent Communities (December 2019 – February 2020) to learn of their progress, approaches, challenges and needs. The results will be shared on this website and used to inform funding and programs to help accelerate and ensure their success.
Energy Independent Communities
Many Wisconsin municipalities and tribal nations have a history of supporting clean energy with more than 140 local governments having passed Energy Independent Community resolutions beginning in 2008. These communities have adopted the goal of generating at least 25 percent of their energy for local government operations (buildings, infrastructure and fleet) from renewable sources locally by 2025. This includes implementing energy efficiency measures as a strong aspect of achieving clean energy goals.
Some of the EI Communities have revisited their resolutions and increased their goals as high as 100 percent by 2030 to 2050. Some have expanded their goals community-wide to include residents and businesses as well. EI Communities are listed and shown on the map below.
EI Community Planning
Fifty Wisconsin communities received grant funding in 2009 and 2010, and more since, to create sustainable energy plans for government operations.
The process to develop a comprehensive, strategic EI Community plan involves measuring and analyzing energy use and costs, determining how to improve energy efficiency cost-effectively, and identifying options for replacing the energy used with renewable sources. This is done in a participatory team with city staff from many departments, the utility, and key community stakeholders. The steps are outlined below:
Plans from some EICs are linked on the list below.
See how it’s done; watch this UW-Madison Extension YouTube Video: Power Through Partnerships: Brown County and The Oneida Tribe Working Toward Energy Independence
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La Crosse County
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St. Croix Falls
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Superior Band of Chippewa
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To see final reports of the 2009-2010 EI Community plans:
2009 Final Report Energy Center of Wisconsin
2009 Final Report Local Government Institute
2010 Final Report Energy Center of Wisconsin
For assistance contact:
Sherrie Gruder, LEED AP
Sustainable Design Specialist & Energy Program Manager
(608) 262-0398 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation/ PSC
Local Energy Programs Manager
(608) 266-5054 | Megan.email@example.com