Little Milan pulls off a big LED retrofit project

October 2021

With a population of under 350 people, Milan is a small community that pulls together for big projects, like their recent LED retrofit at the Milan Community Center.

We spoke with Ann Thompson with the Greater Milan Initiative. 

Working with the CERTS team, our local power company, and community volunteers made this a fun, rewarding project to work on…The future looks brighter (literally and figuratively) for our non-profit organization!

Ann Thompson, Greater Milan Initiative

Tell us about your project.

Our project allowed us to retrofit existing light fixtures in our facility, replacing T-12 or T-8 fluorescent bulbs with 18 watt LED bulbs for a total of 1033 lightbulbs. This project will help our organization save money on electricity costs, improve the quality of the lighting in our facility, and help us reduce our carbon footprint. 

All of these benefits fit in with our organization’s mission statement: "The mission of the Greater Milan Initiative is to foster healthy and welcoming communities, to promote a just and sustainable economy, to enhance the area’s arts programs, to protect and restore our natural landscapes, and to support a vital future for all generations of The Greater Milan Community."

We are always looking at ways to make our facility more energy efficient, so we will keep our options open.

Ann Thompson, Greater Milan Initiative

Do you have any advice for others?

Work closely with your electrician, community volunteers, and your local power company to help make the project go smoothly, and take advantage of other opportunities that may result from the completion of this project (in this case, rebates from the power company). Publicity helps your organization gain recognition and credibility and sets an example for other organizations.

We are also happy to share our experience with other entities such as ours (former school building).

How did people hear about the project?

We, the Greater Milan Initiative, have a fairly active Facebook page. We also published a short article and picture in the Appleton Press/Milan Standard. Members of our team also spread the word of the project by word of mouth. Community reactions have been very positive. Local business people, especially, were interested in possibly pursuing such a project for their own entities.

Clean Energy Focus: Lighting Upgrade to LED

West Central CERT Seed Grant: $4,200

Total Project Cost: $18,212

Other Funds: organization budget; utility rebate; and in-kind contributions from community volunteers, GMI staff, and board members

Project Team: Brandon Ascheman of Ascheman Electric LLC; Richard Isder, Judy Olson, Michelle Molden-Ascheman, and Ann Thompson of Greater Milan Initiative

People Involved and Reached: 528

Annual Energy Savings: 51,160 kWh

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