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County Executive's Office

Dane County Awards More Than $89,000 to Advance Climate Action Through Clean Energy Economic Development Grant Program

April 22, 2021
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

As the Dane County community celebrates Earth Day, County Executive Joe Parisi is announcing the seven local agencies that have been selected to receive Clean Energy Economic Development Grants from the Office of Energy & Climate Change. The Clean Energy Grant program was created to fund efforts in support of Dane County’s ambitious climate action plan.

“In 2020, we committed to an ambitious countywide climate action plan. Cutting emissions in half by 2030 means we need to mobilize everyone in Dane County,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “These grants will help to spur innovation, enabling us to identify opportunities to engage a variety of new stakeholders in efforts to create a clean energy economy that benefits all residents of Dane County.”

In total, $89,659 will be awarded to recipients of Clean Energy Economic Development Grants. The Office of Energy & Climate Change received 17 applications in total, requesting more than $285,000. Each applicant was required to provide at least 10% match for the project; the projects selected for funding are providing match in excess of $75,000.

The Office of Energy & Climate Change launched the Clean Energy Economic Development Grants program in late 2020, noting that their priority was for research and small demonstration projects that would accelerate progress on specific priorities outlined in the climate action plan. As part of the application process, each applicant identified the specific priority their effort would address and detailed how their proposed program would make progress on that priority. (Learn more about Dane County’s climate action plan and the 2020 grant priorities.)

The priorities addressed and projects funded under those priorities are as follows:

  • Pilot the energy facilitator model:
    • Latino Academy of Workforce Development, working with Sustain Dane and Elevate Energy, will expand their Bilingual Leadership Academy to include training in energy efficiency and sustainability to assess the viability of Academy graduates serving as energy and sustainability facilitators for local residents, as envisioned in the climate action plan. OECC provided a $18,970 grant with LAWD and its partners providing $40,550 of match funding. 
  • Expand consumer access to solar energy:
    • RENEW Wisconsin will expand their successful MadiSUN solar energy group buy program to all of Dane County with a special emphasis on engaging types of households that have not participated before in solar energy efforts. OECC provided a $5,000 grant, with RENEW Wisconsin providing $4,300 of match funding.
  • Accelerate electrification:
    • Elevate Energy, partnering with Sustain Dane, will do a segmentation analysis of electrification opportunities in the existing housing stock where the heating fuel is not natural gas. OECC provided a $10,940 grant with Elevate providing $18,840 of match funding.
    • Slipstream will assess electrification opportunities in residential new construction through outreach and engagement of builders and other key stakeholders. OECC provided a $14,706 grant and Slipstream provided $1,439 of match funding.
  • Advance climate-health-equity efforts:
    • Catholic Multicultural Center will host a number of community events to engage residents on climate issues and solicit community input into climate priorities with a focus on equity considerations. OECC provided a $2,248 grant with CMC providing $625 of match funding.
    • YWCA, partnering with Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison and Sustain Dane, will explore transportation challenges for Dane County residents, leveraging the YW Transit program to collect insights. OECC provided a $22,855 grant and YWCA and its partners provided $6,245 of match funding.
  • Encourage telecommuting options:
    • Sustain Dane, working with Greater Madison MPO, will explore local telecommuting policies and practices to create resources for local businesses. OECC provided a $14,940 grant with Sustain Dane and its partners providing $4,320 of match funding. 

“Achieving our clean energy goals will require innovative strategies that engage everyone. I am excited to see what we can learn from these projects,” Parisi said.

The Office of Energy & Climate Change encourages entities to subscribe to its monthly newsletter to stay informed about future Clean Energy & Economic Grants program opportunities.

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