EnAct Offers Energy Worker Conservation Resources

Seth Nowak, former team leader of the Tenney-Lapham and Beyond EnAct group, says EnAct allows participants to learn, share ideas and become more active in making Madison a cleaner and more sustainable city.

EnAct is a program created by the Madison Environmental Group, and made possible through the sponsorship of city and county utilities. Members create groups with colleagues or neighbors and read chapters from a book titled EnAct: Steps to Greener Living. After reading each chapter, members discuss actions they are taking to lessen their personal environmental impact.

“I found it really intriguing to find out how other people address these issues in their lives,” Nowak says.

The Tenney-Lapham and Beyond group formed in October 2010, and finished their programming this summer. There are numerous EnAct groups at various stages of the program throughout Madison, Nowak says.

“I think most people who set up EnAct groups in their neighborhood or workplace are just regular folks who just want to do something to help the environment, to take action,” he says.

The book offers over 1,000 steps to go green, but members are not expected to act upon all of the suggestions. Nowak says the main purpose of the program is to get people active in conservation efforts both as individuals and communities.

Nowak’s group hosted a local and organic potluck using the advice from the “Eat Well” chapter, which focuses on sustainable food choices. They also hosted a speaker from Madison Gas & Electric, who spoke about conserving electricity.

“It’s just fun,” Nowak says. “That’s the biggest thing that was a surprise for me.”

While Nowak holds a degree in energy policy and works for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, he nevertheless picked up useful tips through EnAct.

“I went into this thinking that I knew a lot of steps that I could take to save energy and to help the environment in all these different ways, but I learned so much,” he says.

Dane County residents receive a $35 conservation kit from MG&E upon completion of a pre-program survey on EnAct’s website. Nowak says the only program cost is the book, but participants can access a digital copy online for no charge.

“The number one benefit is not the conservation kit, but the community involvement and resources,” Nowak says.

For more information about EnAct, visit enactwi.org.

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