efficient energy use

Stretching Family Income Through Efficient Energy Use

Since 2008, the Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission (WRWWLC) has invested around $17 million to improve the local electrical infrastructure. The local grid now has capacity to spare and is well equipped to meet the needs of even the most power-hungry new businesses. This progress has occurred while keeping prices among the lowest in the state

The utility has also installed a new smart metering system. This saves money by eliminating the need for human meter readers and allows for variable pricing. The WRWWLC now charges a higher price when electricity is costly to provide, and a lower price when it is cheap. By reducing power consumption during the late afternoon hours, consumers can save the most money.

The utility has also reduced energy demand by working directly with businesses on efficiency measures. In the last year, commercial and residential customers received about $345,000 worth of energy efficiency incentives such as buying energy-efficient appliances, light bulbs, and insulation. Replacing local stoplights and streetlights with more-efficient LED versions has also reduced power consumption. These energy efficiency efforts have helped keep demand flat since 2008 (1% increase), compared to an 18% increase from 2000-08.

Energy efficiency is known for being good for the environment, but it also helps families stretch their income—money once spent on energy costs can be redirected to other priorities.

CHART: Electrical Power Demand, Wisconsin Rapids, 2000-2013

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