The state’s utility regulators want Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program to play a larger role in cutting carbon emissions as part of efforts to combat climate change.

The Public Service Commission has voted 2-1 for the state’s Focus on Energy program to play a greater role in cost-effectively cutting carbon emissions while continuing to emphasize energy savings. However, Republican lawmakers are wary. 

Commissioners have supported research, planning and investment of resources that would set Focus on a path toward playing a larger role in promoting replacement of fossil fuels with electricity to reduce emissions and energy costs.

The commission stopped short of fully changing Focus on Energy’s goals, opting instead to treat the next four years as a “transitional period” in which the program maintains an emphasis on energy savings while also making “measurable progress” toward reducing carbon emissions.