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Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

Blog Posts

Mel and Kate at Sustain Dane Summit
Kate's Internship Reflection - 1/18/2024

As I reflect on my time with the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC), I can’t help but think about my first physical day on the job; I dressed in outdoor attire and wore gardening gloves at a tree planting event

team members standing together
2023 Reflections - 1/1/2024

As 2024 begins, now is a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished and where we need to focus our energy next.

conference attendees at round tables
Empowering Youth Around Climate Action - 11/20/2023

This last Saturday more than 120 high school students, college students, and even a few eighth graders gathered to talk about the climate crisis.

Our Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality - 10/2/2023

Almost eighteen months ago we awarded the contract for Dane County’s Comprehensive Energy Assessment to HGA, a national engineering and design firm with offices in Middleton.

group standing in front of the capitol building
Happy Birthday IRA - 8/31/2023

The Office of Energy & Climate Change had the opportunity to join some of our friends and allies to celebrate the first anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act.

picture of a tall building that says bankers hall
There's a Place for Everyone - 7/31/2023

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a group of local bankers about climate action. I talked about Dane County’s ambitious Climate Action Plan and the federal funding that can help individuals, businesses, local governments and nonprofits pursue clean energy solutions. And I suggested some ways that banks and credit unions could help us address climate change.

people at event outside in a smoggy day
A Summer of Extremes - 7/25/2023

As residents of a place with long, bitter, winters, the summertime months typically gleam in the back of our minds and get us through March blizzards and April flurries. But, is that sparkle of excitement leaving our “how to get through Wisconsin winter” tool pack?

Kids lean over tree being planted
Tree Plantings at Crestwood Elementary - 6/21/2023

I couldn't picture a better way for me to begin my journey with the Office of Energy & Climate Change (OECC) than how I spent my morning on May 26th at Crestwood Elementary School. In partnership with The Urban Tree Alliance, I was able to spend time as a volunteer for a tree planting project at the school, and I met some of the inspiring individuals I will be working closely with throughout the rest of my internship.

Emma's Internship Reflections - 5/23/2023

When I accepted an internship at the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Well, now that the semester has flown by and my internship comes to a close, I am thankful to say I was able to contribute to many different projects in the Office, learn more about the field of energy, and experience an exciting time for energy policy nationally and in Dane County!

Heat Pump Conference Success - 5/16/2023

There’s nothing more exhilarating than being in a room where you can feel change happening. I had that experience on May 3 when our office partnered with HVAC industry partners to host almost 100 HVAC contractors for a conversation about air source heat pumps in Dane County.

More Inflation Reduction Act Momentum - 4/17/2023

The Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change’s enthusiasm for the Inflation Reduction Act is well known. We have created a webpage to help locals access the various IRA benefits (e.g., Tax credits for home energy upgrades! Tax credits for EVs! Tax credits for solar and geothermal on homes, businesses AND nonprofits!)

Sara stands in front of a mountain
Get to Know Sara Pabich, Climate Data Assistant - 3/31/2023

Curious about what happens behind the scenes at the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change? One important initiative is tracking and reporting on Dane County's energy, water, and fuel usage. These reports help guide the OECC to most efficiently achieve the goals set forth by the Climate Action Plan. Sara Pabich, a current UW-Madison graduate student, is behind this work; hear from her about the scope and impact of her work in Dane County and beyond.

Kathy's black EV car
Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety - 1/30/2023

I have been driving an electric vehicle (EV) for more than five years now, which means part of my winter ritual is offering advice to newer EV drivers who anxious to know whether driving in cold weather will affect their vehicle’s range.

Diverse cartoon adults talking
Conference Affirms that the IRA Can Change Everything - 11/29/2022

If you have spoken with me lately, it is likely that I mentioned the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) at least four (or seven) times in our conversation. If that was annoying, buckle up because you can expect that I will be talking about the IRA a lot more going forward.

Internship Reflections - 10/26/2022

It’s sad to be saying goodbye to the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change. Over the last five months, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of incredible projects and meet really amazing people

Joe Parisi at celebration
Climate Champion Celebration - 10/13/2022

It was an incredible experience to meet with our current and past Climate Champions and celebrate everything they’ve done to make Dane County more sustainable.

People at round tables discussing sustainability
Stoughton Sustainability Community Dialogue a Huge Success - 9/26/2022

If it takes a village to raise a child, then surely it also takes a community to accelerate sustainability and climate action. I saw that in action at the “Sustainability Community Dialogue” in Stoughton.

Graph showing how much CO2 emissions avoided from IRA legislation
The Inflation Reduction Act Will Spur More Action Locally - 8/15/2022

This month the US Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which represents the largest investment in climate action in US history. The IRA commits about $369 billion to climate action.

Clouds with sunlight
Faiths Connect for Climate - 7/25/2022

At a climate protest last week, I saw a sign that said, “Only everyone can save us now.” It’s a powerful reminder that climate action isn’t individual, but instead requires all of us to work together.

SunVest Solar logo
Women in Solar - 7/22/2022

What image comes to mind when you hear “solar energy professionals?”

Yahara Solar groundbreaking
Yahara Solar: An Important Milestone - 6/27/2022

On June 22 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi stood with partners from Alliant Energy and SunVest to announce Yahara Solar, a 17 MW solar project that will enable Dane County to achieve a big goal, the goal of getting all of the electricity used in Dane County’s facilities from renewable sources.

Earth Day Everyday
It's Earth Day, Always - 3/29/2022

Often I feel a little ambivalent about Earth Day. I appreciate the efforts of millions of regular folks- adults as well as children- who mark the day by taking action on local environmental issues.

Celebrating the 2021 Climate Champions - 3/14/2022

Last week we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the top 2021 Climate Champions, the entities that earned 3 or 4 Stars in one or more categories.

Portfolio Manager
Behind the Scenes Utility Data - 12/13/2021

As a climate data assistant at the Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC), my responsibilities are to make sure the utility data such as electricity, natural gas, and water are correctly and successfully uploaded to our energy tracking software (EnergyCAP). These tasks involve data collection from a variety of utility vendors, data processing in excel, and software deployment to keep track of the county statistics.

Covenants & Climate Change: An Internship Reflection - 9/17/2021

It’s been a pleasure to serve as a Climate Action Intern for these past three months. As a lifelong resident of Dane County, the work I’ve done has felt additionally rewarding as I am actively able to help the community that I call home transition towards a climate friendly future.

Let’s Map That: Reflections of a Carbon Data Intern - 9/17/2021

I’m really glad I got to spend my summer working with the Office of Energy & Climate Change (OECC). This internship has been fulfilling and it has taught me a lot about environmental work.

Boy running through sprinkler, 2020 Dane County Climate Action Plan
Leading Our Climate Action Efforts - 11/17/2020

Dane County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is enormously ambitious and profoundly practical. As a private citizen, I was delighted to play a small role in helping to create some of the recommendations in the CAP and I was proud of Dane County’s outstanding leadership on climate action. Today I am even more delighted to be the Dane County staff person leading efforts to implement the CAP.

Young girl offering food to kangaroo
Reflections on My Journey: Sophia's Reflections - 6/16/2020

It has been a long and fun journey to Madison and my work at Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC). I grew up in a city in South Korea and I traveled around the world thanks to my uncle and aunt who lived in Australia and France. This wonderful opportunity gave me a chance to experience different kinds of nature compared to South Korea, including this interaction with a baby kangaroo. I think my kangaroo encounter was the start of my interest in the environment.

Picture of Keith Reopelle
Keith Facilitated a Vision - 5/13/2020

It’s a challenge to mark milestones amid the pandemic. Our office has had some significant milestones of late. Not only did we issue a groundbreaking economy-wide Climate Action Plan in April but, in May, our founding director, Keith Reopelle retired.