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Press Release:

For Immediate Release
   Contact:
   Janet Brandt
   WECC Executive Director
   608/249-9322, ext 460
   jbrandt@weccusa.org

Governor's Budget Proposes Diverting $53 Million from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs

MADISON, Wis. (Thursday, February 10, 2005) - The Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) is deeply concerned by the recent release of the Governor's budget which calls for the diversion of $53 million in segregated funds paid by electric customers for energy conservation programs into the State's General Fund. Janet Brandt, WECC Executive Director said, "These proposed cuts signal that securing funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs is not a high priority at this time."

An examination of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, shows these programs reap nearly $6 in benefits to state residents and businesses for every dollar spent. "These programs help stabilize our energy rates, promote economic development and improve our environmental quality," said Brandt.

The $53 million, which represents a 40% cut to the energy efficiency budget, is part of the segregated funds paid by current electric customers that have been specifically earmarked for energy conservation programs.

These proposed cuts are not consistent with the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy which were released last November. The bi-partisan commission that included Democrats, Republicans, and others representing interests from utilities, business, industrial, and residential customers unions and environmentalists recommended:

  • Providing secure and adequate funding for the Focus on Energy program.
  • Increasing the amount of Wisconsin's energy produced with renewable sources such as wind, sun, and agricultural materials.
"It is our hope that the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force will be implemented quickly and energy efficiency programs will cease to be a budget-cut target," stated Brandt.

About the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation
Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wis. Established in 1980, WECC is a national leader in designing and implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that partner with private businesses to deliver value to consumers. It champions innovative energy initiatives that deliver short- and long-term economic and environmental benefits to consumers, businesses and policy makers. For more information about WECC, call 800.969.9322 or visit weccusa.org.

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