U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visits Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
On Friday, June 16, 2023, Secretary Granholm will travel to Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to highlight President Biden’s Investing in America agenda — a whole-of-government approach to slashing pollution, helping Americans take control of their energy costs, and deploying reliable clean energy solutions to build resilient and healthy communities. The Secretary’s visit will underscore how Biden-Administration’s historic investments are benefitting tribal communities and creating good paying, union jobs in Wisconsin and across the nation.
Strengthening Wisconsin’s Economy
In 2021, there were already 141,530 Wisconsin workers employed in the energy sector.
In both the Madison and Milwaukee areas, over 60% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind and solar, and over 36,000 workers in the two metro areas were employed in energy efficiency.
The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $4 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Wisconsin between now and 2030.
Wisconsin is home to 462,000 small businesses, representing 99.4% of all businesses in the state and employing over 48% of all Wisconsin workers, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
Clean Energy Investment
Wisconsin has an ambitious statewide goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Currently, the state has over 1.5 GW of solar, wind, and storage capacity already online. Another 1.7 GW of additional planned capacity is scheduled to become operational in the next three years, which will more than double the amount of renewable energy available on Wisconsin’s grid.
Inflation Reduction Act tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 33% and 25%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin already has over 800 alternative fueling stations, with 150 of those in the Madison area and 143 in the Milwaukee area.
Wisconsin will also receive almost $17 million in federal funding to help build out more EV charging stations.
Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save over $1700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller cars could save over $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle too, with upfront discounts for eligible buyers of up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs, helping Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
Investing In Wisconsin’s Communities
Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $115 million in the past year to Wisconsin’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. This includes administrative funding to build a robust rebate program to help low-income households access more efficiency appliances, over $5 million to help strengthen grid resilience, and a massive $95 million increase in the state’s weatherization program funding.
Saving Wisconsinites Money on Home Energy Bills
DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $76.8 million in Wisconsin since 2015, leading to 671 jobs and over 7,000 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
Wisconsin will receive $149 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Wisconsin could save an average of 31% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.
IRA also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in Wisconsin 21.6% on their utility bills. That amounts to $651 per year.
Prioritizing Wisconsin’s Rural and Underserved Communities
Wisconsin has five Community Networks part of the Rural Partners Network, encompassing 12 counties across the state. Supported by USDA, DOE, and other federal agencies, the team focuses on projects prioritized by local communities that unlock the full potential of the region.
The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. DOE has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
Legacy Solar Co-Op in Madison was selected in the first round of the Community Power Accelerator Prize, which seeks to expand access to community solar. They are now competing for a share of a larger prize that will fund further progress toward their goals of improved access, greater household savings, resilience and grid benefits, community ownership, and equitable workforce development.
In Milwaukee, communities are banding together across the city to help increase access to the comfort and savings that can be achieved by properly weatherizing their homes. The project, funded by Weatherization Assistance Program Enhancement and Innovation Program, will target households with the highest energy burdens.
DOE is also working with Wisconsin and a group of other states to explore how distributed solar resources can reduce grid disruptions for vulnerable communities.
For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure