Energy Independence

As Wisconsin communities and the state continue toward energy independence, we look to support communities in their efforts to plug into the clean energy economy that create good-paying jobs, support Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, improve health, and help mitigate the costly impacts of climate change to the state and local economy and quality of life.

Energy Independent Communities

Many Wisconsin municipalities and tribal nations have a history of supporting clean energy with more than 140 local governments have passed Energy Independent Community resolutions beginning in 2008. These communities have adopted the goal of generating at least 25 percent of their energy for local government operations (buildings, infrastructure, and fleet) from renewable sources locally by 2025. This includes implementing energy efficiency measures as a strong aspect of achieving clean energy goals. Some of the EI Communities have revisited their resolutions and increased their goals as high as 100 percent by 2030 to 2050. Some have expanded their goals community-wide to include residents and businesses as well.

Energy Independence Community Planning

Fifty Wisconsin communities received grant funding in 2009 and 2010, and more since, to create sustainable energy plans for government operations. The process to develop a comprehensive, strategic EI Community plan involves measuring and analyzing energy use and costs, determining how to improve energy efficiency cost-effectively, and identifying options for replacing the energy used with renewable sources. This is done in a participatory team with city staff from many departments, the utility, and key community stakeholders.

Map 1. Wisconsin Energy Independent Communities

Energy Independent Communities Survey

UW-Madison Extension (Sherrie Gruder) and the state’s Office of Energy Innovation (Megan Levy) present Planning for a Clean Energy Future: Wisconsin Communities Power On that reveals the results of the recently completed survey of Wisconsin’s Energy Independent Communities. Also discussed is the movement beyond 25% to 100% renewable and carbon-free energy and a clean energy economy. The presentation was delivered virtually at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters’ first virtual Spring 2021 Environmental Breakfast Series discussion.


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Our Work

Integrating Affordable, Multi-Family Housing and Clean Energy Solutions
Solar Energy Financing Guide: Empowering Wisconsin Local Governments
January 8, 2020 Lunch N Learn: Wisconsin 2020-Community Economic Development at the Start of a New Decade

Latest News & Updates

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Energy On Wisconsin Newsletter, Quarter 1, 2022
Wisconsin Opinions on Global Warming: A State and County Summary
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