Couleecap pilot program bringing high-tech energy sources to low income renters

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — A La Crosse apartment building is now home to a new pilot program to save energy.

Couleecap teamed up with the Wisconsin Department of Administration Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources to install solar panels and heat pumps.

Heat pumps can heat and cool a well-winterized home with better efficiency than traditional air conditioning units and furnaces.

The building is owned by Couleecap and is rented out to people earning a low income. The goal is to reduce the amount of money being spent on energy costs.

“Just think about the low-income community and what they’re earning, a very large portion of that is going towards their energy needs and so we want to make sure that we’re reducing that energy burden by offering them these opportunities,” said Maria Redmond, director of the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.

The program is expected to save tenants about $1,000 a year and save the state energy assistance program roughly $3,400 a year.