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Lake Mills Light & Water recognized for participation milestone

Residents of Lake Mills were recently rewarded for their dedication to leading by example and working together to preserve the environment.

Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI), the nonprofit power supplier for Lake Mills Light and Water, recently donated $500 toward local park projects to recognize the community for reaching a four percent milestone in its customer Renewable Energy Program participation.

Lake Mills Light and Water was recognized at WPPI’s seventh annual Building Community Connections workshop on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. WPPI presented the check to Kristin Hosey, billing clerk for Lake Mills Light and Water, and Kathy Pohlman, bookkeeper, to be used in Lake Mills’ community parks.

Community members in Lake Mills purchase electricity from clean, green sources by participating in the Renewable Energy Program. Customers of the local municipal utility pay $3.00 per month for blocks of renewable energy equal to some of all of their monthly electric usage. A block is the equivalent of 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The electricity generated for Lake Mills’ renewable energy program is provided by WPPI and comes from a combination of wind, water and organic materials.

“It is great to see such positive participation results, and I am proud to be a part of a community that is working together to support the use of cleaner energy sources,” Utility Superintendent Paul Hermanson said.

Four WPPI member communities—River Falls, Lake Mills, Stoughton and Oconto Falls—had participation levels exceeding four percent.

The community’s exemplary participation level is due, in large part, to an impressive response by local citizens to a recent challenge from Ed Grunden, Lake Mills City Council President, encouraging residents to increase their support of renewable energy by purchasing blocks provided by renewable sources.

During the course of the challenge, citizens increased their enrollment in the Renewable Energy Program by 78 percent. Communities who executed participation challenges were responsible for 62 percent of the total mass market sales for the year.

“Most people probably do not know that if just a few more residential customers would sign up for renewable energy, Lake Mills will be in the top 10 cities for renewable energy use for the entire United States,” Hermanson said.