Turning Waste Energy into Wisconsin Power

Turning Waste Energy into Wisconsin Power

La Crosse Non-profit Contributes to State Energy Plan

La Crosse, WI - In the winter, you don’t leave the door open. That just wastes heat and money. Right now, Americans use only about a third of available energy and waste the rest. Putting waste heat to work just makes sense. And that’s exactly what the Climate Alliance for the Common Good, a La Crosse non-profit, has proposed, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office.

This proposed method of recovering waste energy and putting it to work is now part of the state's just-released Clean Energy Plan.  The solution: a high-value conservation exergy strategy that lets the state use wasted heat to heat and cool buildings and homes. With this strategy, Wisconsin can recover much of the $14 billion sent out of state to purchase fossil fuels, a cost estimated in a 2019 study conducted by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and at the same time, reduce the effects of changing climate. 

Implementing this conservation strategy along with other strategies in the state’s energy plan, "we can keep our money here at home," said Governor Evers. This is an important step toward achieving 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2050 while supporting the creation of 40,000 jobs by 2030.

"Using high-value conservation can reduce industrial and organizational energy cost and consumption by up to 90%," said Tom Schlesinger, Chair of the Board of the Climate Alliance for the Common Good. "We can counter climate change and at the same time reduce citizen’s bills." 

This method of conservation, or exergy, takes a broader look at energy efficiency by evaluating multiple factors within a system—including electrical energy, thermal (heat) energy, and materials, evaluating what is used and providing ways to recover what is wasted. The state’s energy plan includes an education pipeline that introduces principles of exergy to developers, planners, building managers, and engineers. 

The Climate Alliance for the Common Good has been promoting energy-smart exergy since 2019. Exergy saves money, creates jobs, and improve the Wisconsin economy, while reducing energy use, carbon emissions, and pollution. The non-profit works with citizens, industry, organizations, and government to engage Wisconsinites on climate change and solutions, and support policy that addresses climate issues local to the state as well as the nation. 

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