Energy Efficient City Facilities

The City of Madison is taking action to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our own facilities. To better manage facility energy consumption, we have been benchmarking and reporting all building energy performance since 2015, and we share this information on our Energy Dashboard.

We uses this benchmarking information to stay on top of our energy use, identify opportunities to save energy and money, and validate impacts of energy-efficient decisions. In the last ten years, the city has invested roughly $250,000/year in energy efficiency improvements, including operations changes, transitioning to LED lighting, upgrades to HVAC equipment and more. And we regularly tune up our buildings to make sure they're operating well - over the last 5 years, facilities staff have tuned up libraries, major Parks and Water Utility facilities, as well as Police and Fire Stations. Check out the Engineering Division's Energy page for more details on how the our Facilities Team is leading on energy efficiency.​

All new City facilities are designed, contracted, and built to achieve at least Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Fourteen City facilities have achieved LEED Certification, and 6 facilities are in the process of being certified. Check out the Facilities Team LEED page to learn more about the City's work to be a leader in green building practices and a full list of City LEED certified buildings.

Exterior view of Fire Station 14 showing two fire truck bays
Fire Station 14 achieved LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Association.

Better Climate Challenge

In 2022, the City of Madison joined the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Climate Challenge and committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our facilities by at least 50% and improving energy efficiency by 25% across our portfolio of facilities over the next 10 years. To achieve this goal, the City will continue and accelerate the work to maximizing energy efficiency, install renewable energy systems, and utilize other innovative technologies to decarbonize our 70+ buildings and facilities. We are one of more than 80 organizations across the U.S. economy that are stepping up to the Challenge and driving real-world action toward a low-carbon future. 

Microgrid Feasibility Study

With support from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission's Office of Energy Innovation (OEI), the City is working with Slipstream and Madison Gas and Electric to complete a feasibility study for converting two adjacent city-owned facilities into an interconnected microgrid, enhancing the existing backup generators and solar photovoltaic (PV) system with the addition of battery energy storage, additional solar, and the necessary controls hardware. These facilities house the streets division and engineering operations and are city headquarters for City services. These changes would enhance the resilience of these buildings to power outages while also reducing electric costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Check out the other projects around the state funded by OEI's Critical Infrastructure Microgrid and Community Resilience Center Pilot Grant Program funds. 

Grid Interactive Efficient Buildings Pilot

Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Connected Communities initiative, the City is partnering with Slipstream and Madison Gas and Electric on a pilot program for creating grid-interactive efficient buildings. This project will demonstrate how we can reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions across the building sector while transitioning to a cleaner electric grid. Check out this press release to learn more.

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