(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen says she is looking into energy cost savings at city-owned buildings. Last summer, the city was awarded a $10-thousand-dollar grant through the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation to look into green energy savings. Glewen says one of the findings that came about from their study was that the city spent more than a million dollars a year on energy usage for municipal buildings.
During a recent appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Glewen said her staff immediately began researching ways to save on energy costs while at the same time getting the quickest return on investment. She says switching to LED lightings provides a quick payback and could save in their neighborhood of hundreds-of-thousands of dollars over a five-year time. Glewen says because a plan was put in place, it has allowed the city to pursue grant opportunities.
Beaver Dam recently received a $62-thousand dollar solar project grant to place solar panels on top of city hall. The cost to install the panels would be roughly $220-thousand dollars but Glewen says there are private benefactors that would help alleviate those costs. She says they can take advantage of federal tax credits by paying the up-front cost for the solar panels or LED lights which can help the city save on energy costs immediately. Solar panels must be in place by November or the city will lose the grant dollars.
Glewen says common council recently adopted a “25-By-25” initiative that reflects a community’s good will effort to use 25-percent renewable energy by 2025. She says if Beaver Dam continues to put a focus on green energy, the city will be closer to 35-percent by that time.