See energy tech experts’ insights on CUB small business webinar

  • October 25, 2022
870 450 Tom Content

Companies taking steps to control energy use or deploy new technologies are seeing how it empowers employees, helps with branding and makes their company more attractive for potential employees, speakers at CUB’s most recent small business webinar said.

The Oct. 13 webinar, “Steps Your Business Can Take to Manage Your Energy Costs,” featured Geri Waack, director of eMobility services at EnTech Solutions, Tim Wasmer, founder and CEO of Wasmer Co., and Kyle Thomas, outreach manager with the state Focus on Energy business program. Francisco Sayu, director of emerging technologies at Renew Wisconsin, led the Q&A.

Their focus: sharing their insights on what businesses should plan for as they approach challenging cost environment and opportunities created by emerging energy technologies and electrification. 

You can watch the webinar below, or on CUB’s YouTube channel. Download the slides from the presentation here.


Experts on the panel highlighted what Sayu called the “spillover effects” beyond embracing new technology and controlling energy costs.

“You can change the culture in the company where people actually hold each other accountable and police each other’s activities, with controlling the electricity or natural gas or water in the facility,” said Wasmer. “What used to be a discussion two or three years ago, that water’s cheap, it’s no big deal. It’s a protected resource and we should take care not to overuse it.”

Waack said it’s striking how companies that have deployed technologies are seeing employees becoming more aware and engaged in managing energy use and reducing waste. “It definitely changes behavior when you start to see and understand how your own footprint can impact it,” she said.

“The coolest thing about it is it’s contagious,” added Wasmer. “So what they learn at work they take home, and what they learn at home they take back to work. And they want to share it and communicate it. People are getting very passionate about it, all facets of people.”

The event was part of a series of webinars for small businesses taking place during Energy Awareness Month. See CUB’s blog and YouTube Channel for all of our residential and small business webinars this year.

Check out the replay of the Oct. 6 webinar or find all our webinars on CUB’s YouTube channel.  The third webinar on Oct. 20 was hosted by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. It featured solar installers and leaders from a variety of businesses showcasing their experience with generating their own power from solar energy.

Thomas, from Focus on Energy, gave an overview of resources provided by the Focus on Energy business program including rebates and incentives, as well as its network of trade allies, contractors working across the state in the energy efficiency and renewable energy field.

Businesses can and should take advantage of Focus’ energy advisors service, Thomas said.

“There’s no cost to reaching out, asking questions. We have a team of dedicated energy advisors for every market sector located throughout the state of Wisconsin,” he said. “Energy advisors can help you identify potential projects and energy savings opportunities. We can help calculate ROI, simple payback for any projects you might have, and help you understand utility bills and assisting with the application process for any incentives you might be eligible for.”

Wasmer Co. works with companies to analyze energy use and optimize their operations to reduce their bills, said Wasmer.

“For a lot of people, it’s hard to understand what you’re paying for. Being able to educate yourself on what you’re paying for is critical and helps you to make good decisions. It allows you to put yourself in control,” Wasmer said.

He pointed to an energy bill estimating tool allows a business to predict its next utility bill rather than just finding out after the fact. Gaining that insight, Wasmer said, is another step to empower a business owner to create a plan for optimizing operations to reduce energy use.

Waack discussed opportunities in electrification, including electrifying vehicle fleets and incorporating a microgrid to power on-site EV charging stations. At Bergstrom Automotive’s EV charging stations in Neenah, EnTech designed a system that taps solar panels, batteries and natural gas in a microgrid that allows Bergstrom “to charge electric vehicles without relying on grid dependency,” she said.

She said more and more companies are thinking about tapping distributed energy sources like on-site power supply as part of their pathway to electrification. 

CUB appreciates the support of its promotional partners for its series of Energy Awareness Month webinars. That includes Wisconsin Focus on Energy, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, Midwest Renewable Energy Association, Renew Wisconsin, Vernon County Energy District, the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin EcoLatinos and B Local Wisconsin.