Community Engagement

Public Power Customers Save Energy While Helping Charities

The Wisconsin public power communities of New Richmond and Mount Horeb have been selected to participate in the second round of a pilot program under which residents will raise money for local charities while they save money learning new ways to save energy.

Focus on Energy’s “Save to Give Challenge” launched in 2020 exclusively for rural communities. The program’s success in Lodi and Bayfield in Wisconsin last year resulted in its being able to expand this year.

Lodi, New Richmond and Mount Horeb are all members of WPPI Energy, which serves 51 locally owned electric utilities.

Focus on Energy Director of Program Operations Erin Soman noted that Lodi residents taking part in the first challenge were able to help keep one of their community charities open.

In both New Richmond and Mount Horeb, any residential customer of the municipal electric utility will be eligible to participate through the utility’s website.

In the same place residents pay their bills online, they can participate in the “Save to Give Challenge” where they will learn and practice no- and low-cost energy actions, tracking their progress on the website or a mobile phone app.

Each time they record how they saved energy they will earn donation points toward their favorite community nonprofits. When enough residents participate and accrue those points, Focus on Energy will donate up to $25,000 to the charities.

Participants will also have easy access to energy saving tips and information about other Focus on Energy offerings. Through time-limited campaigns -- coupled with longer-term strategies -- the pilot engages rural households to implement behavior-based energy savings and participate in Focus on Energy programs, Focus on Energy noted.

For Mount Horeb and New Richmond, the “Save to Give Challenge” is also in line with the communities’ goals to save energy and support local organizations. Both communities have robust networks of volunteers, social networks, and treasured nonprofits.

In New Richmond, the “Save to Give Challenge” aligns with the community’s vision, written by its residents, to protect natural resources and maintain the city’s reputation as a prosperous, civically engaged community.

Mt. Horeb Utilities, in partnership with WPPI Energy, will also be providing additional donations to local nonprofits when reaches participation milestones in the “Save to Give Challenge.”

For more information about the challenge, click here.

Additional details on Focus on Energy is available here.