Energy Savings for Seniors

Meals on Wheels, Focus on Energy and MGE team up to bring LED bulbs to homebound seniors.

couple walking to door

Three days a week, Joe Meier makes the trip to Northwest Dane Senior Services in Cross Plains. It's a route he knows well. He has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for years.

"I like meeting my clients," Meier says.

This week, he has more than the daily meal to bring local households. Focus on Energy and MGE have partnered to share gift bags containing three ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs with local Meals on Wheels programs. The effort is part of the ENERGY STAR 2016 Change the World Tour. The campaign encourages people to choose ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs.

About 300 gift bags also are being delivered to seniors through Home Health United. In total, MGE's partnership with Focus on Energy and its lighting sponsors is delivering about 1,650 bulbs to local seniors through Meals on Wheels.

LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than standard bulbs and last 15 to 25 times longer. The U.S. Department of Energy says LEDs potentially could cut general lighting energy use nearly in half by 2030, saving energy dollars and reducing carbon emissions.

led light bulb

Meier is happy to include the LED bulbs with his meal delivery. The retired print man for the former Rocky Mountain News in Denver moved to Wisconsin 15 years ago to be closer to family. He says he actually started volunteering for the Meals on Wheels program in the early 1990s while still living in Colorado, and he has simply kept going. Meier is known around the community service agency as a volunteer who takes the time to connect with those he serves.

"They like to have somebody to talk to," he says of his clients.


MGE Residential Services Manager Luanne Fax talks with longtime volunteer Joe Meier about the benefits of LED bulbs.

Increasing engagement around energy efficiency and conservation is one of several objectives in MGE's Energy 2030 framework for our energy future. When we reduce our energy use, we reduce the use of power plants, which produce emissions such as carbon dioxide. And if we all make an individual effort, we can make an impact collectively. The partnership behind the 2016 Change the World Tour is one way to raise awareness about the importance of energy efficiency.

MGE Residential Services Manager Luanne Fax joined Meier and volunteer Randy Lucey ahead of their deliveries to answer any questions about the energy-efficient bulbs destined for their senior clients.

Fax added, "If customers have questions about the bulbs they've received or LED lighting in general, our Home Energy Line is available weekdays to address those or other energy-related questions."

Meier and Lucey are two of more than 70 volunteers for Northwest Dane, which is always looking for additional individuals who are willing to lend a hand.


Randy Lucey has volunteered with Meals on Wheels for several years.

Like Meier, Lucey is a veteran volunteer, recording six years with the program. He is following in his parents' footsteps. He says they served the organization by taking seniors to their appointments. Lucey says he does it for the personal satisfaction.

"I feel good that I'm doing something to help out," he says.

Meier adds, with a chuckle, "Once in a while I get a meal."

To learn more about the ENERGY STAR 2016 Change the World Tour, visit:

For LED lighting information, call MGE's Home Energy Line weekdays at 608-252-7117 or 1-800-245-1125.

published: 10-27-2016