County Executive Parisi Launches New Climate Champions Recognition Program on National Energy Efficiency Day

October 07, 2020
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi is joining officials across the country in recognizing October 7 as Energy Efficiency Day. As part of the celebration, Dane County is launching the Climate Champions program, which will recognize local entities—businesses, local governments, nonprofits—that are leading on climate action. Dane County will recognize entities in a variety of categories, including energy efficiency.

“Expanding energy efficiency across our community is a cornerstone of Dane County’s Climate Action Plan, and we’ve long invested in energy efficiency projects to reduce county operating costs,” said County Executive Parisi. “We’re excited to launch the Climate Champions program. There’s a lot of great work being done around Dane County, and we look forward to highlighting those achievements in our community.”

Investments in energy efficiency can increase comfort and safety, improve indoor air quality, and reduce the potential for moisture issues. This is particularly important as we enter the fall and people spend more time indoors. Energy efficiency is also a source of good-paying clean energy jobs that will not be outsourced. Prior to the pandemic, more than 76,000 people in Wisconsin worked in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector.

The Climate Champions program is a part of Dane County’s Climate Action Plan and will recognize leadership in seven categories:

  • Net Building Energy Use: this category recognizes buildings that use less energy per square foot than a typical building.
  • Fleet Operations: if an organization owns one or more vehicles, it can get recognition for having a clean energy fleet.
  • Employee Commuting: Dane County is recognizing entities that have successfully encouraged employees to shift to cleaner commuting options AND entities that are making it easier for their employees to shift to clean and active modes of transit.
  • Water Saving Practices: entities are recognized in this category by completing two or more sustainable water actions.
  • Agricultural Practices: this category will recognize farmers and land owners for climate-friendly practices associated with both dairy and crop farming.
  • Net Carbon Emissions: in this category, Dane County will recognize entities that have lower emissions than their peers.
  • Other Climate Leadership: it is possible that an organization has achieved significant climate success in an area not covered by the six categories listed above. If that’s the case, Dane County invites them to describe what they have accomplished here.

Applications for the Climate Champions program are due Monday, October 19 at 5pm. Climate Champions will receive official recognition for their efforts, including signage they can post in their facility. Recipients will also be recognized as Climate Champions on a map of successes in Dane County. Those interested in learning more about the Climate Champions program can go to https://daneclimateaction.org/initiatives/Climate-Champions-2020