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Madison program seen as exemplary in helping save money and reduce carbon emissions

Madison, Wisc. - March 20, 2012 -The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is keeping a close eye on groundbreaking work by 31 Madison businesses. In 2009, the City of Madison, MGE and Sustain Dane launched a modest pilot program for businesses seeking ways to save energy, money and make an impact on climate change. Since that time, the program has grown and gained the favorable attention of the EPA as well as multiple Madison entities, including the Madison Metropolitan School District. Over three years, the EPA and local utility, MGE, have pledged a $750,000 investment to grow the program.

Over the past year, 16 new businesses have completed the innovative program, including the likes of American Family Insurance, The Bruce Company and Madison Mallards. In total, more than 70 projects were successfully completed last year, yielding a combined reduction of 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

The EPA has cited the program as a national model for private-public collaboration, recognizing the partnership through which local nonprofit Sustain Dane works with Madison Gas & Electric and the City of Madison to provide sensible steps to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

"The MPower Program provides a model for helping businesses reduce their energy costs and operate more efficiently, in addition to shrinking their carbon footprint," says George Czerniak, Acting Director of the US EPA's Air and Radiation Division.

Projects range from major infrastructure and lighting changes, to more unique prototypes: The Madison Mallards, for example, are adding a Farmers' Market stand to the ballpark this year with 100% locally-grown food, and the Madison Concourse Hotel implemented a new "Ozone Laundry System" that saves 400,000 gallons of water each year and eliminates more than 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. As a result of the program, the EPA has included the City of Madison as one of their 50 designated "Climate Showcase Communities" and will host their annual conference in Madison in May to highlight this work. During the first two years of operation, MPower saved Madison-area businesses $680,000 and reduced carbon emissions by 13,500 metric tons-an equivalent of removing almost 3000 cars from the Madison roadways each year.

Wednesday's Annual Celebration is a ripe opportunity to learn from more than 80 local business leaders who are part of the MPower Program and have intriguing stories to tell about sustainability projects in the Madison-area. In total, 16 "graduating" businesses will discuss their accomplishments and the fourth incoming class of participating businesses will be announced.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 21, 3 pm - 5 pm
WHERE: Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd.. Madison, WI 53711
For more information:
About Sustain Dane: Sustain Dane works with Madison-area businesses, schools, and individuals to promote energy conservation efforts and encourage broader sustainability strategy. Our mission is to connect local opportunities with global solutions, while building effective partnerships in our region.

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  • Phil Busse, Director, Communications, 608-819-0689