Focus on Energy’s Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (RECIP) Update
The Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (RECIP) provides incentives for cost-effective renewable energy systems installed at eligible Wisconsin organizations through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process. Questions regarding the RECIP process should be submitted to RECIP@focusonenergy.com.
RECIP Request for Proposal & Application Template - NOW AVAILABLE
Written responses will be emailed to the applicant and also posted (without identification of the asking party) on this site. Questions submitted prior to March 7, 2014 will also be addressed during the pre-bid webinars
Information for Rural Consumers on Home Heating Alternatives
Very cold temperatures and shortages of propane have many rural residents evaluating their home heating systems.
To learn about your options click here.
To determine the cost of different fuels for your home click here.
Update on the Midwest Propane Supply Situation
Propane supplies in the Midwest--and in Wisconsin-have been squeezed this winter because of several factors
· A late corn harvest combined with heavy rains created a higher propane use later in the season. This caused an inventory draw down prior to the main propane heating season.
· Loss of a supply pipeline in Iowa and Minnesota for about a month
· Wisconsin's winter has been about 8% colder than normal
· Rising exports and constrained rail service
Propane marketers in Wisconsin have worked hard to ensure that their customers have propane to heat their homes this winter. But, often this means that your local propane company can only deliver 100 gallons or so at a time to ensure that all customers get fuel. The propane supply crunch is affecting 24 states, not just Wisconsin. As a result of the supply situation the price of propane—starting at the wholesale level, has risen very dramatically in the past 10 days. Consumers will find that propane prices are very high compared to what they were paying just a couple of months ago.
Wisconsin state government has also responded, starting last October, by allowing propane companies more flexibility in drivers' hours in order to bring more propane to consumers from terminals. Also, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has allowed greater weight limits on trucks transporting energy products, while maintaining roads and public safety. Yesterday, the US Department of Transportation issued a regional hours of service declaration that will enable more propane to be moved to northern states like Wisconsin.
As Wisconsinites always do, they are working hard to minimize inconveniences due to these unusual circumstances.
Some of the things consumers can do to help are:
· Only call your propane company for delivery of fuel if your tank is 30% full, or less. But don't wait to call if you are nearly out of fuel.
· Make reasonable adjustments on your thermostat to conserve the propane you have.
· Check on your neighbors, especially the sick, disabled or frail elderly
· Utilize alternative heat sources such as wood or pellet stoves; many propane customers also have wood stoves.
· Be careful with electric space heaters; heaters which tip over or are too close to combustible materials can be a serious fire hazard
· DO NOT attempt to connect a small propane tank (e.g. such as used for outdoor grills) to your furnace-this is extremely unsafe.
Households with incomes at or below 60% of the state median income ($47,485 annually for a family of four) may qualify for assistance under the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). Eligible households may receive financial grants to pay for home heating and electric costs.
WHEAP services are provided locally through:
- County social services offices,
- Tribal governments,
- Private non-profit or other government agencies.
For more information on WHEAP, please access the Home Energy Plus website at http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov/ or call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947).
For more information on Propane and Winter Fuel Prices in Wisconsin click here
Gundersen Health System’s Envision Offers Educational Programs
Gundersen Health System, a previous WI SEO grant recipient, is providing leadership for the healthcare industry to demonstrate that "green" is a healthy, socially responsible and economically beneficial strategy. Having nearly reached its goal of meeting 100 percent of its energy needs in 2014 through the utilization of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, Gundersen Health system intends to share some of what it has learned throughout this journey in upcoming educational programs. To view these programs click here.
Department of Administration Announces $1.3 Million in Clean Transportation Grants
The Department of Administration (DOA) announces that it is awarding $1.3 million in Clean Transportation grants. These 28 grants will go to Wisconsin companies, organizations and municipalities to help fund the purchase of 81 natural gas and 18 propane vehicles.
“These awards will further expand the number of fleet vehicles in the state using alternate transportation fuels” said Secretary Mike Huebsch. “With increasing demand for alternative fuels, it is crucial that the infrastructure is in place to expand alternative fuels across Wisconsin. By increasing business opportunities in the natural gas, biogas and propane supply chain, as well as lowering fuel costs to Wisconsin businesses and communities, these grants will have a positive impact on Wisconsin’s economy.” Press Release
Diesel Truck Idling Reduction Program
The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) administers a grant program to reduce diesel truck idling emissions. The program is designed to assist common, contract and private motor carriers in the purchase and installation of idling reduction technologies. Motor carriers are eligible to receive up to 50% reimbursement for the purchase and installation of idling reduction equipment. The program’s primary goals are to help Wisconsin motor carriers reduce air pollution emissions and fuel consumption. DOA will award Wisconsin motor carriers $1 million in cost sharing benefits. The application cycle (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) is now closed. If you wish to receive updates on funding and events, please subscribe to our listserv by clicking on Fuels & Vehicles, then go to Diesel Grant Program to enter your email address.
Contact Jean Beckwith at Jean.Beckwith@wisconsin.gov or call (608) 261-2517 if you have any questions.
Driving for $1.14 Per Gallon!
The Energy Department launched the eGallon – a quick and simple way for consumers to compare the costs of fueling electric vehicles vs. driving on gasoline. Today’s national average eGallon price is about $1.14, meaning that a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on $1.14 worth of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline. To read more click here.
Energy Tax Credits Extended!
On January 1, 2013, the US Congress passed The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Included in this legislation was an entire section dedicated to Energy Tax Extenders, including extensions to home energy efficiency tax credits, biodiesel tax credits, energy efficient appliances tax credits and the Production Tax Credit.
Energy tax extenders included in the Act are listed here, along with a brief description of the changes.
Please contact Amanda Mott at 608-261-8404 or Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on this information.
First in the Nation!
Sweetwater Energy and Ace Ethanol have made a long-term commercial agreement to produce cellulosic ethanol for up to 16 years. The entire contract has a total potential value in excess of $100 million, and requires a minimal capital outlay by Ace Ethanol while stabilizing Ace’s feedstock cost over the life of the agreement. Sweetwater Energy will convert their cellulosic, non-food biomass into highly fermentable sugar and Ace will ferment it into ethanol. A Sweetwater facility will eventually be located next to Ace Ethanol. Initially they will be able to produce up to 3.6 million gallons of ethanol per year. Press Release
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report for Wisconsin
The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is updated daily and is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available. Click here to view today's prices.