Waunakee Utilities is a Community-Owned Nonprofit, which keeps renewable options affordable for village residents. As part of the Choose Renewable plan, residents can source 100% of their energy from Midwest renewable sources for an extra $2 a month.
A partnership with Focus on Energy gives Village residents access to many rebates and has provided over $1 billion in savings to Wisconsin residents since 2011. Focus on Energy provides free energy-saving packs that include:
- Energy Star Certified LED Light Bulbs
- High-Efficiency Showerheads
- Water-Saving Faucet Aerators
- Pipe Insulation
- Advanced Power Strip
Residents also receive rebates for purchasing select Energy Star Certified Appliances and other renewable installations. Find out more about renewable energy incentives at waunakeeutilities.com/rebates.
Solar Panel Installations
Within the Village of Waunakee, the high school and intermediate school have solar panels, and the Village incorporated solar installations onto its library.
Solar Installation on Waunakee Public Library
Waunakee Utilities connects with the community through three yearly activities, including Public Power Week, Kids Corner, and the Wellness and Energy Fair.
Waunakee’s Village Center represents its commitment to sustainable practices. The facility has a number of energy-saving practices that make it sustainable.
- Automated HVAC systems that fluctuate based on need, conserving energy.
- Efficient water heaters
- Paperless online registration
- Reuse cardboard for arts and crafts
- Facilitates visits to Schumacher farm where people participate in outdoor education activities
- Partnered with stream monitoring program for DNR and UW
- Provide stream monitoring training so that community volunteers can monitor the stream
- All office spaces use motion-sensor lights
Green Roof on Waunakee Public Library
Other Sustainable Practices
- Controlled burns to contain invasive species
- Library Green Roof
- Storm Drain Murals
- Six Mile Creek Shoreline Restoration, Creek Clearing
Murals reminding the public that the runoff drains to Six Mile Creek
Waunakee Public Works - Green Spaces
The Village of Waunakee maintains extensive green spaces for the public and boasts over 16 miles of bike paths. Waunakee has undertaken numerous projects to make these spaces healthier for the ecosystem.
Castle Creek Conservancy Park
- World Migratory Bird Day tree planting event
- Half an acre of restored prairie land
Bolz Conservancy Park
- Contains 15 acres of natural prairieland
- Oak Savannah
- Wetland Preservation
Monarch butterfly campaign
- Mayors monarch pledge
- Buying and planting milkweed
- Restoring prairielands
- Adding informational signs to prairielands
- Waunakee public works staff are trained as part of the saltwise program to reduce their salt use on roads.
Tree City USA
Waunakee is a certified member of Tree City USA. This certification includes the following:
- Recognizing Arbor Day
- Planting a bare root garden
- Having a certified arborist lecture at elementary schools.
- Investing $2 per capita on tree-related activities
- Planting 30-35 trees annually in addition to the trees added with development. (A new tree is planted for every 60 feet of street frontage)
Bird City Wisconsin
Waunakee is also a member of Bird City Wisconsin, which includes the following:
- Building birdhouses with kids as part of a volunteer program and placing them in prairielands
- Planning yearly educational events with a focus on birds
- Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day
Bird house built as part of Bird City Wisconsin
Sustainability Leaders Collaborative
Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change has created a partnership of municipalities across the County that work together and share resources to promote sustainable goals. You can find out more at https://daneclimateaction.org/initiatives/sustainabilityleaders-collaborative
To keep sustainability in mind as Waunakee grows and develops, it is recommend that Waunakee commits to a sustainability resolution. Some resolution ideas include:
- Creating a task force of local experts to analyze Waunakee’s sustainability potential and plan next steps
- Committing to more renewable infrastructure
- Committing to use more renewable energy in a certain time frame