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Download the "lessons learned" report - 2009 Energy Independent Communities Grant Program Overview (595 k), no appendices

Download the appendices to the 2009 "Lessons Learned" report (2.6 mb) - 127 pages

Download the Governor's Independence Day Press Release announcing release of LGI's "Lessons Learned" report (83 kb)

In January 2009, Governor Doyle awarded 10 energy independence grants to 23 Wisconsin communities. The grants were used by the participating communities to prepare energy independence plans focused on energy and fuel usage in municipal buildings and fleets. The goal of the planning process was to identify projects and implementation strategies needed to achieve the Governor’s goal of generating 25 percent of the State’s electricity and transportation fuel from renewable energy resources by the year 2025.

Concurrently with the grantees’ planning process, the Wisconsin Local Government Institute (LGI) monitored communities’ progress and collected data from participants via surveys, an online collaborative group, and quarterly meetings. The goal of LGI was to identify lessons learned, common challenges, and barriers to creating effective and implementable energy independence plans. The fruits of the LGI review are contained in this document.

Evaluating the Energy Independent Communities Planning Grant Program

The Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence invested $500,000 in the energy independence planning grant program in 2009 and is providing the same grant opportunities in 2010. In the hopes of continuing to refine the energy independent planning process, this document provides an overview of the 2009 Energy Independent Communities (EIC) grant process and identifies lessons learned and recommendations which could be helpful to future communities. To facilitate the evaluation of the grantee program, this document is broken into three primary sections.

Section One: Grantee Community Characteristics:
The first section provides an overview of all the participating communities. The important aspect of this section will be a discussion about the characteristics of the grantee communities and whether their make-up is representative of all Wisconsin units of government. The grantee communities’ similarity to other Wisconsin units of government will dictate how readily the findings from this study can be applied to future energy independent communities.

Section Two: EIC Planning Process and Common Issues:
The grantee communities were required to follow a prescribed planning process that was segmented into four three-month quarters. LGI monitored progress and gathered feedback during each of the quarters. The second section will provide a brief overview of each quarter and highlight any experiences that were common across multiple grantee communities. As part of the process, LGI also conducted a survey of every local government unit in the State. The results of those surveys will be used to determine if the common experiences are applicable to other units of government.

Section Three: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Improving the EIC Grant Program:
The third section synthesizes all of the information gathered during the evaluation process and presents strategies for future communities based on the lessons learned by the inaugural grantee communities. In addition, this section provides recommendations based on LGI’s findings for improving the EIC grant program.

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