Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers pledged in August to make Wisconsin’s electricity consumption 100% carbon-free by 2050.

The executive order pushed Wisconsin into a growing group of states, municipalities and utilities

pledging carbon reduction goals, with many investing in renewable energy sources.

However, renewables are just part of the solution. October is National Energy Awareness Month, a good time to remember efficiency’s place in reaching carbon reduction goals.

Remember the cheapest unit of energy is the unit you do not use. Many Wisconsinites have embraced this idea through Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable resources program.

Nearly 129,000 residents and more than 6,100 businesses and municipalities participated in Focus on Energy in 2018 (excluding retail lighting sales), investing in efficiency projects with enough energy savings to power 359,000 homes for a full year.

Remember Wisconsin spends billions annually importing coal and natural gas. The less energy

Wisconsinites use, the less state utilities spend importing fuel, a cost ultimately passed on to consumers.

Remember that if Wisconsin uses less energy, it doesn’t have to spend as much building the renewable energy infrastructure needed to meet its carbon-free goal. And many opportunities remain. In fact, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found efficiency could slash U.S. energy use about 50% by 2050.

This Energy Awareness Month, remember the easiest and cheapest way to reduce your energy impact is to use less and be efficient. Focus on Energy can help you explore low- and no-cost ways to save energy at www.focusonenergy.com.

Erinn Monroe-Nye

Madison

Errin Monroe-Nye is program director at Focus on Energy.