CITY OF FENNIMORE WISCONSIN IS FIRST TO ACHIEVE 100% LED STREET LIGHTING -Partnerships Lead to Success and Long Term Savings-
The City of Fennimore’s 30-year-old street lighting was inefficient and unreliable. To answer some questions, the City of Fennimore (population 2,497) turned to WI Office of Energy Innovation (OEI), Focus on Energy, and e3 Lighting. Thanks to the collaboration of these multiple entities Fennimore’s street lighting is now 100% LED and is at peak efficiency.
Eight years ago, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Fennimore was successful in obtaining various Federal grants (from the State Energy Program as well as the Energy Efficiency Community Black Grant- EECBG) and incentives from Focus on Energy to develop and implement a local energy plan. This plan set Fennimore on a clear path to achieving their energy goals of 20% reduction in electrical use by the year 2020 (20×20).
“As a municipal utility we are consistently driven to provide our rate payers and community reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy and public services such as street lighting” said Margaret Sprague, Clerk/Treasurer. “Stemming from our energy plan we completed in 2010, we have been installing LED street and exterior building lighting and we are now 100% LED! We are very excited to have achieved this and e3 has been a big part of it.”
e3 Lighting, based in Viroqua, WI, helped facilitate the energy planning process and much of the lighting upgrades for Fennimore over the past 8 years. “Someone had to be the pioneers and Federal and State grants helped with that” said Jim Olson, President of e3 Lighting, “this is where I see real value in tax payer dollars coming back to help communities take the first step with new technology…we need to remember that LED lighting was a very new technology when we installed Fennimore’s first LED street lights in 2010. It’s amazing to realize that lighting has just taken a quantum leap!”.
“We’ve come a long way since our inception as a municipal utility in 1904 when we installed our first 55 kilowatt generation system to light up Lincoln Avenue with 21 electric arc street lights” said Dennis Biddick, Fennimore’s Director of Public Works, “now the city has 7.3 megawatts of generation capacity and 392 street lights. Our municipal buildings are also 100% LED exterior lighting… it’s just the right thing to do to keep our energy dollars as local as possible.”
Fennimore has proven to be one of the many success stories stemming from ARRA. Particularly because the city personnel continued to pursue energy savings projects, even after their initial goals had been met. As compared with 2008, Fennimore currently uses about 54% less electricity, which is approximately 140,000 kWh annually- even with an escalation in energy prices, the city still saves about $6,200 per year in utility costs. The operations and maintenance savings, which will be realized over the next ten years, are also a significant boon to this small city in rural Wisconsin.
About e3 Lighting
e3 Lighting (formerly E3 Coalition) is a Viroqua Wisconsin based energy management company who believes sustainable energy is key to the short and long term well-being of any business or community and LED lighting is the first step.
About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin.
About Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation
The Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation assists businesses, local governments and citizens by promoting and investing in clean energy projects that are cost-effective, balanced, reliable and environmentally responsible.