Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

Dane County Internal Emissions Progress

Dane County leadership prioritizes leading by example and addressing our own emissions as we simultaneously encourage others to also take action.

Accordingly, we monitor the emissions from our internal operations closely. Internal operations refers to emissions produced through the delivery of Dane County services; this includes our buildings and  fleet, land operations, and other county activities.

Internally our goals are to:

  • Transition to 100% renewable offset energy by 2025, which was achieved in 2023; and
  • Be carbon neutral across our facilities, fleet and land operations by 2030.


Dane County Leadership Examples:



100% Renewable Offset Electricity

In 2017 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi set the goal that the electricity used in county operations be 100% renewable offset by 2025. In 2023 Dane County achieved that goal ahead of schedule.

  • Before 2020 Dane County had rooftop solar on more than a dozen county facilities, but these installations represented a small portion of the County’s electricity.
  • In December 2020 the solar at the Dane County airport came online, increasing the county’s renewable electricity substantially starting in 2021. 
  • In mid-2023 Yahara Solar came online, taking the County to 100% renewable offset.
  • Going forward, as the County electrifies more facilities and lfeet, staff will ensure that Dane County remains 100% renewable offset through new solar projects.


Dane County's Renewable Offsets vs Total Electric Consumption
kWh from 2020 to 2030

bar chart of electric usage vs renewable offsets



Carbon Neutrality in Facilities, Fleet, and Land Operations

In his 2022 budget the County Executive set the goal that Dane County’s facility, fleet and land operations be carbon neutral by 2030.

This carbon neutrality goal means that, by 2030, on an annual basis the total emissions from Dane County's facilities and fleet will be equal to (or less than) the amount of natural carbon sequestration Dane County achieves through the county's land operations (restoring land to prairie, for example).

The graph below illustrates the carbon neutrality goal: as emissions are reduced and the amount of verified natural carbon sequestration increases, these two bars will meet in 2030, achieving carbon neutrality. 


Dane County's Progress on Carbon Neutrality in Facility, Fleet and Land Operations
(Metric Tons CO2 equivalent or MTCO2e)

bar chart of electric usage vs renewable offsets


Facility and Fleet Emissions 

Dane County's emissions from facilities and fleet include all of the following:

  • Grid electricity used in county facilities (through 2023)
  • Natural gas and propane use, mostly to heat our buildings
  • Steam use via the state-owned Capitol Heat & Power Plant (which provides us with steam)
  • Gasoline, diesel and compressed natural gas fuel in fleets


Dane County Facilities & Fleet Emissions (MTCO2e)

bar chart of electric usage vs renewable offsets


To achieve our 2030 goal Dane County will further reduce remaining emissions so that the emissions are equal to or less than the total annual emissions sequestered via the County’s land operations. The graph below shows remaining emissions by source. 


2024 Dane County Facility & Fleet Emissions by Source (MTCO2e)

bar chart of electric usage vs renewable offsets



Dane County Facility & Fleet Emissions: 2022 vs 2024


The table above summarizes Dane County’s actual 2022 facility and fleet emissions and the projected 2024 facility and fleet emissions. Dane County’s facilities and fleet emissions are down 60% compared to 2022 due to the transition to 100% renewable offset electricity.

2022 Emissions (MTCO2e)

Est 2024 Emissions (MTCO2e) % Change
Electricity 22,860 0 -100%
Natural Gas 6,612 5,676 -14%
Propane 134 213 59%
Steam 3,479 3,090 -11%
Gasoline 2,642 2,775 5%
Diesel 4,318 4,012 -7%
Compressed Natural Gas 0 1 100%
Total 40,045 15,767 -61%


Carbon Sequestration

Dane County Land & Water Resources are currently researching the total tons of carbon sequestered through land operations on an annual basis for Dane County. We will integrate that data into this page as it becomes available.


Total Emissions From Dane County Operations

Beyond the facilities/fleet/land operations goal Dane County also has greenhouse gas emissions associated with operating the Dane County landfill and with fugitive emissions. Those emissions are not included in the 2030 goal.   A full summary of Dane County's internal emissions for 2022 is available here