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

Office of Energy & Climate Change

In 2017, Executive Parisi established the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change to further the county’s efforts to address climate change. As a division within the County Executive’s Office, the Office uses its Climate Action Plan as a guide to lead public and private efforts across the community to implement strategies that address climate change. 



Picture of Kathy Kuntz

Kathy Kuntz, Director

As the Director of the Office of Energy & Climate Change, Kathy aims to make it easy for everyone in Dane County (especially you) to make choices that help achieve our ambitious climate goals. Kathy has almost 30 years of experience helping businesses and residents adopt sustainable practices. Prior to joining Dane County, Kathy led Cool Choices where she worked with local governments and private businesses on sustainability efforts for about ten years. Before that she led Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program. Kathy has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s from UW-Madison, and a reputation for getting results. Contact Kathy.

Melanie Askay

Melanie Askay, Climate Specialist

Melanie is passionate about finding ways for people and nature to peacefully coexist and mutually thrive. In her role as Climate Specialist she is focused on implementing the recommendations set forth in the Climate Action Plan. She has over ten years of experience facilitating global and regional natural resource management across nonprofit, government, and business. Prior to joining Dane County Melanie was in California where she focused her efforts on land and water conservation statewide through grants and policymaking. Melanie has a Master’s of Science from Illinois State University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Delaware. In her free time Melanie loves exploring Madison and nature walks with her two kids and her puppy Pita. Contact Melanie

Sara Pabich

Sara Pabich, Climate Data Assistant

Sara recently graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in Economics and Environmental studies. With her educational background and passion for supporting sustainable environments, she is excited to assist with the goals set forth in the Dane County Climate Change Action Plan. As the Climate Data Assistant, Sara supports the Office by importing county facility energy and water use data into EnergyCAP Software, assisting with tracking fleet and fuel usage, and generating reports to track overall energy production and use. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking different trails, spending time in Door County, and baking (especially loaves of bread and treats). Contact Sara.

Kate Duffy

Kate Duffy, Intern

Kate is a junior at UW-Madison who is passionate about exploring the intersection of climate action and various stakeholders such as local businesses. She is pursuing degrees in Marketing and Management and is working towards a certificate in Sustainability. Kate is looking forward to learning more about developing strong campaign strategies such as the Climate Action Plan. Though Kate found a love for nature at a young age, she has been especially inspired to pursue a career in the climate sector since her time as a member of the Dane County Community and is excited to ignite this ambition with the OECC. Contact Kate.

Emeritus Staff

Picture of Keith Reopelle

Keith Reopelle, Founding Director

Keith Reopelle, now retired, was the first Director of Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. Prior to coming to Dane County, Keith was the Senior Policy Director at Clean Wisconsin where he worked for 32 years leading clean energy campaigns at the state and regional levels. Keith served on numerous energy and climate-related task forces and advisory committees. He was a member of Governor Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming as well as the Midwestern Governors Association Greenhouse Gas Accord advisory committee. Keith has a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology and a Masters of Science degree in environmental communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Contact the OECC

City County Building, Room 421
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Madison, WI 53703

Phone: (608) 283-1477
TTY: Call Wisconsin Relay 711