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Focus on Energy joined Xcel Energy on Aug. 23 to present the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association Ice Board (MYHAIB) with a check for more than $16,000 and honor the nonprofit for its steps to save energy.

The MYHAIB made several lighting upgrades in recent months — including new LED lights in the Don Fanetti Ice Arena — that have pleasantly surprised those who use the facility.

“It’s awesome! The rink has never looked so good,” said UW-Stout Men’s Hockey Coach Terry Watkins, whose team plays its home games at the arena. “It’s like a whole new building.”

Previous lighting at the arena fell below competitive hockey standards. Bob Schultz, a member of the board and an Xcel Energy employee, was familiar with Focus on Energy and reached out to the program about the possibility of providing monetary incentives to improve the lighting.

The incentives offered by Xcel Energy and Focus on Energy — including bonus incentives through the program’s limited-time Community Small Business Offerings (CSBO) campaign — helped offset the cost of the MYHAIB’s investment.

“We simply couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of Focus on Energy’s expertise and incentive programs,” Schultz said.

“The reps from both Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy made the incentive application process easy to navigate and allowed the project to be completed faster than we expected,” said Jack Tritt, chairperson of the Menomonie Youth Hockey Association Ice Board.

The nonprofit will also see long-term energy savings. New lights in the ice arena and the other building the board manages at the Dunn County Recreation Park, the Agriculture Building, are expected to save an estimated $10,000 annually. And with better lighting, the MYHAIB expects to improve the number and variety of events it can to host in its buildings.

A recent evaluation report found every $1 invested in Focus on Energy programs creates $5.93 in benefits for Wisconsin, including economic benefits, reduced energy costs, and reduced pollution.

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