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New Richmond Residents Break Records for Energy Efficiency, Money Raised for Non-Profits

NEW RICHMOND, WI - New Richmond was one of two Wisconsin communities that participated in the Save to Give Challenge this year. The Save to Give Challenge is an energy conservation challenge sponsored by FOCUS ON ENERGY®. New Richmond participated in three, one-month campaigns in January, April, and October. During each campaign, residents tracked their energy-saving actions at home to earn donations for Five Loaves Food Shelf, New Richmond School District’s SOAR Center, and Will’s Playground.


New Richmond set record-breaking numbers during the challenge, with the most money raised, $14,380, and the most households signed up, 394, that Save to Give has seen in any community.


“The New Richmond community really enjoyed participating in the Save to Give Challenge,” said New Richmond City Administrator and Utility Manager Noah Wiedenfeld. “Community members learned that simple steps to save energy can really add up, especially when we all do our small part. We appreciate Focus on Energy for selecting New Richmond for this pilot program.”


Save to Give’s Impact:

  • 394 New Richmond residents joined the Save to Give Challenge.
  • Each participant raised an average of $70.
  • 211 participants (54%) recorded energy-saving actions.
  • The Save to Give Challenge was present at 48 community events.



Will’s Playground: “Being a part of the Save to Give Challenge in New Richmond was simply amazing,” said Teresa De Young, Lead Volunteer of Will’s Playground. “The energy-saving actions recorded by the New Richmond residents earned more than $4,000 for Will's Playground! With these dollars we will be able to include more sensory equipment at the playground. Thank you to everyone that participated in the challenge and helped us build Will's Playground!”


New Richmond School District SOAR Center: “I thoroughly enjoyed talking with community members about the SOAR Center and the other non-profits throughout the Save to Give Challenge,” said Rachel Sauvola, Founder of the SOAR Center. “Doing tabling events with Matthew, Brady, Jean, Teresa and my students allowed us all to interact with supportive people who were excited to raise money for their favorite causes in such an easy way. The donations we received have helped us continue our daily work in producing quality food for school lunch. Agricultural pursuits are not cheap so every penny counts. Those who chose the SOAR Center as their Save to Give beneficiary will always hold a special place in our hearts for believing in our project and what we do for the community. Thank you!”

Five Loaves Food Shelf: “We are grateful to everyone who participated in the Save to Give Challenge and to the Focus on Energy staff who put on this program in New Richmond,” said Five Loaves Founder, Jean Needham. “The need for food is high at this time, and with the money raised by residents saving energy, we are able to provide over $42,000 of food to the community.”


How to Continue Saving

The saving does not have to stop just because the challenge is over. New Richmond residents can take the energy-saving actions they learned during the challenge and implement them into their daily routine. Here are some ways residents can continue saving energy.

Order a free energy-saving pack from Focus on Energy.

  • Replace all lights with LED bulbs.
  • Enable power saving mode for computers and TVs.
  • Keep the refrigerator between 3740 degrees.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not using them.
  • Use power strips and unplug them when they are not in use.
  • Use cold water for laundry.
  • Shorten your showers to five minutes a day.
  • Summer only: use fans instead of AC.
  • Summer only: open windows at night to let in cool air.
  • Summer only: adjust thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
  • Winter only: program thermostat to turn down while sleeping or away.


About Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state’s investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy products. Focus on Energy information, resources, and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. A recent independent evaluation found that for every $1 invested, Focus on Energy generates more than $4 in benefits for Wisconsin residents and businesses. For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit