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Home Energy Efficiency Make-Overs: A Hot Trend in La Crosse

Improved Comfort, Lower Costs Drive Old Home Project

By: | March 19, 2015 5:36 pm

What do over 400 homeowners in La Crosse, Wisconsin have in common? They are enjoying improved comfort, better air quality, lower energy use and savings off the total cost of improvements of their recent Home Energy Efficiency Make-Overs.

Thanks to a joint incentive by energy conservation organization Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy, those 400 customers received a collective $1 million in incentive and rebates. That’s an average of $2,500 for each home – and can mean a world of difference, as you’re about to see…

Never too old for an Energy Make-Over

Just ask Ben Wilson. He and his family live in a 100-year old home in La Crosse that was a bit behind the times with energy efficiency – like a century behind!

“We love the charm and beautiful woodwork, and all the bedrooms for our growing family,” says Wilson “But we knew it was lacking in energy efficiency.”

The freeze that drove action

The winter of 2013-2014 was the tipping point. With monthly energy costs of over $500, the Wilsons started investigating energy conservation programs and discovered Focus on Energy, an organization devoted to helping homeowners realize energy savings through efficiency efforts.

On-site audit revealed problems

The Wilson’s energy efficiency journey started with an on-site audit conducted by Dave Geissler of Focus on Energy. The audit examines all the potential problem areas of energy waste from the roof to basement. This process identifies drafts, poor insulation, bad ventilation and even humidity issues and inefficient appliances.

The Wilsons were quick to admit their windows and doors weren’t perfect. But they came to learn the house had no real barrier of insulation anywhere, so naturally that became the priority.

First things first

Contractors added spray insulation to every exterior wall and the attic. They moved the ducts to the kitchen under the floor joists and insulated them, too.

Wilson added weather stripping to exterior doors and new CFL bulbs to replace incandescent lights to further the overall energy efficiency efforts.

The big pay-off

On average, eligible customers receive 66% percent of the cost of their improvement, which comes in the form of incentives from Focus on Energy and matching rebates from Xcel Energy. That can add up to $2,500. “Focus on Energy also filled out the rebates which saved me a ton of time,” says Wilson “Best of all, the house is operating more efficiently and feels a lot cozier.”

Get started today Learn more about how you may qualify for incentives to do your own Home Energy Make-Over. Visit Focus on Energy.

And learn about Xcel Energy Residential Rebate Programs here.


A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.

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