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John Crook is a man with 24,000 bosses. Bosses who'd like to run an environmentally friendly organization, but would prefer to see that happen without an increase in the bottom line—a.k.a., their taxes.

Luckily, Crook—who's the building inspector for the City of Fitchburg—has a staff that's committed to finding cost-effective ways to live lightly on the earth, one of which is the Green Power Tomorrow program.

"We just started participating in the program this year," said Crook. "Renewable energy is important to us, and wind power is a logical choice for our area. It's an affordable way to make a difference."

The program is one way the community takes a green approach to living within its budget; energy-efficient buildings are another. Fitchburg's 10-year-old buildings integrate the energy-saving systems that were state-of-the-art at the time of construction—including programmable thermostats, occupancy sensors for lights and an HVAC system that uses fresh air to cool down the building.

"Of course, technology has changed quite a bit since we built our facilities, but whenever we need an equipment upgrade, we do our best to find energy-smart options that also make sense financially," said Crook.

Recent upgrades include the addition of solar panels—which will deliver up to 90% of the energy needed to provide the facility's hot water—and a landscaping update that includes eco-friendly rain gardens that take advantage of stormwater runoff. The community has also made a commitment to use less caustic cleaning supplies.

"We're always on the lookout for better ways to manage our facilities, and we encourage the community to share their ideas with us," said Crook. "That joint effort is the best way to run our facilities in a budget- and earth-friendly way."
Thank you,
City of Fitchburg
, for supporting Green Power Tomorrow.

MPower Madison
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