MILWAUKEE — A major initiative that promises to make Milwaukee one of the most energy-efficient cities in the nation has been launched by the city and Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls.

Last spring, the city’s Office of Environmental Sustainability started Milwaukee Energy Efficiency — or Me2 — with the goals of reducing pollution, creating private-sector green jobs, reducing energy bills, and improving the commercial building and housing stock.

This community-wide effort is being accomplished without the use of any local government funds or subsidies. The Me2 Clean Energy Financing Program leverages funds that it received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide up to $60 million in enhanced private-sector financing for building owners. Me2 helps to link property owners to energy contractors and private lenders, while eliminating the upfront costs associated with efficiency projects that are then paid for from savings resulting from reduced energy use.

Johnson Controls is working with the city and property owners on these projects.

The first Me2 project has already been launched at The Newport, a co-op project located at 1620 N. Prospect Avenue. Johnson Controls is implementing the removal of existing HVAC systems and replacing them with more energy-efficient equipment. A new building automation system will also be installed to control the HVAC equipment that serves the building, including common areas such as the entrance foyer, parking garage, basement, and hallways.

The efficiency upgrades are expected to save The Newport more than $48,000 in annual energy costs once Johnson Controls completes the project this spring.

“This is an excellent example of the type of project that the city had in mind when it formed Me2,” said Erick Shambarger, deputy director for the Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability. “We expect the Me2 initiative will lead to the start of many more energy-efficiency projects within the year.”

For more information on Me2, visit

For additional information on Johnson Controls, visit

Publication date: 05/07/2012