Wisconsin Public Service announced the winners of this year’s Energy Challenge, and several Rhinelander organizations are among those winners. Fifteen non-profit organizations were challenged with four tasks related to energy efficiency and weatherization during October and November. Organizations were awarded up to $1,000 for completing the challenge. The top three organizations that completed all challenge tasks while saving the most electricity were awarded an additional $500 grant.
The WPS Energy Challenge winners are (top three listed first):
• Crivitz Fire Department
• Luxemburg-Casco High School Leo’s Club
• ArtStart Inc., Rhinelander
• Green Bay United Hockey
• N.E.W. Zero Waste Coalition, Brown County
• Rhinelander Area Food Pantry
• Rhinelander Soccer Club
• Northwoods Community Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee
• Rhinelander Basketball Association
• Emergency Rescue Squad Inc, Marinette
• Marinette-Oconto Rugby Club
• Peshtigo Women’s Club
• Town of Peshtigo Fire Department
• Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce
• Twin Bridge Waterski Team- Crivitz
The two month results showed a cumulative electric savings of 56,460 kilowatt hours. Overall, that’s a 23 percent savings across all organizations. These numbers equate to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from eight passenger vehicles or 14.9 tons of waste sent to the landfill instead of recycled. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed an online greenhouse gas equivalency calculator to help translate abstract numbers into easy-to-understand terms.
As part of the challenge, 150 weatherization kits were installed at WPS residential customer homes and more than 150 customers took part in a WPS or Focus on Energy residential energy conservation program. Along with the decrease in energy use, a substantial increase in energy awareness was realized as minor lifestyle changes by each individual resulted in cumulative energy saving totals.