Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & 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

Valora Gutierrez

Valora Gutierrez, Energy Specialist

As the Energy Specialist at the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change, Valora advocates for the adoption of decarbonization strategies. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she double majored in Environmental Studies and Geography with an emphasis in people-environment interaction studies. Valora was also a Chancellor’s Scholar and researched habitat conservation and mitigation banking in UW-Madison’s Geography Department. Prior to coming to the OECC, she worked at the local nonprofit Sustain Dane as the Efficiency Navigator and NOAH Outreach Specialist to implement energy efficiency upgrades in low-income multifamily housing. Originally from California, Valora loves animals, fungi, music, science-fiction and vegetarian food. Reach out to Valora to learn more about how she can empower your organization to build a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future together. Contact Valora

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.

Isabella Lubotsky

Isabella Lubotsky, Intern

Isabella is a graduate of UW-Madison passionate about exploring the intersections between sustainability and community engagement. She earned her degree with majors in Environmental Studies and Political Science, with certificates in German and Public Policy. Isabella is excited to learn more about the role local government can play in empowering community stakeholders like residents, business owners, and others to make sustainable choices in their lives. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, biking, and learning how to crochet. Contact Isabella.

Recent News and Social Media

Recent News

CDP A List Cities

In 2021 Dane County received an A rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project, the highest rating for climate action. This is an impressive accomplishment! See the full list of cities and counties receiving this recognition. In 2023, the county received an A- rating. 

Recent News

EPA Green Power Leadership Award banners

Dane County joined the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partners program in 2020, which recognizes businesses and local governments that are leading in using renewable electricity for their operations. In September 2021 the EPA named Dane County as a Green Power Leadership Award winner. As one of only five organizations in the country to receive the award in 2021, this is a significant achievement for Dane County.

Press Releases

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

OECC Overview

Guiding Principles & Goals