Release: With New Funds Available, Milwaukee Residents Upgrading Homes To Be Energy Efficient & Creating Green Union Jobs

Press Release,Monday October 25th, 2021 

Contacts: Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280, [email protected]


Release: With New Funds Available, Milwaukee Residents Upgrading Homes To Be Energy Efficient & Creating Green Union Jobs

This “Energy Awareness Month”, City of Milwaukee’s updated Me2 program available now to residents to help cover the cost to upgrade homes before December 31st.

Milwaukee: Surrounded by homeowners from the Sherman Park neighborhood, Green Homeowners United - an energy efficiency and economic modeling firm - together with State Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde (D-Milwaukee), Sherman Park Community Association, Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Laborers Local 113, and Coalition of Lead Emergency debuted a new push to encourage residents to sign up to have their homes upgraded, thanks to funds available to help make homes more efficient, safer, and with the help of union workers. Up to $3,000 is available per home for insulation, reducing drafts and new HVAC, before 12/31.



Said Kevin Kane, chief economist for Green Homeowners United: “Upgrading homes to be energy efficient is one of the most important ways to cut carbon emissions. Even more than making every car electric. We should be shouting from the rooftops because every home is also a chance to improve comfort, reduce utility bills, increase home values and create good, living wage union jobs.”


City of Milwaukee has three programs to help residents afford to upgrade their home’s heating system and insulation (Me2), more easily purchase a “green home” (Milwaukee Home Down Payment Assistance) and soon will be putting millions into lead abatement & energy efficiency upgrades to homes. 

1. Me2 Milwaukee Energy Efficiency

2. Milwaukee Down Payment Assistance

3. Lead Abatement and Energy Efficiency 

1 - Me2 program: funds are currently available until December 31st, or until they run out, for incentives to assist existing Milwaukee homes upgrade their insulation levels, replace heating systems and/or reduce air loss, if performed by an approved contractor such as Green Homeowners United. Including:

  • $1,000 for attic insulation and air sealing,

  • $450 - $550 for a new high efficiency furnace or boiler to replace existing system,

  • $1,000 for a “heat pump” to replace an existing central air conditioner

  • +$1,000 additional if insulation, air sealing and new HVAC system replaced together

Said Steve O’Connell, of Milwaukee, who utilized the attic insulation & air sealing funds: “You can absolutely feel a difference, we’re saving energy and money, and we’re doing our part to help the planet by cutting emissions! You need a professional to show you all the little ways your home could be improved, we’re so glad to be part of this program!”


2 - Milwaukee Down Payment Assistance: Milwaukee funds are available for homebuyers, within certain income, to receive $5,000 - $7,000 in downpayment assistance when purchasing a home in Milwaukee that can be combined with other funds and programs, such as Associated Bank’s green mortgage and PATH program, where homebuyers qualify for an additional $4,000 down payment assistance ($11,000 total) and thousands of dollars in extra funds at no additional interest rate or fee to cover energy efficiency improvements like insulation, solar panels, high efficiency furnaces and more. 

Said Trinity & Justin Raspberry, of Milwaukee, who qualified for the green mortgage, PATH program & Milwaukee’s down payment assistance program: “This amazing program has been exceedingly helpful in our journey towards a more energy efficient home, and we’ve also received help from the city & from bank funds that made our home more affordable by thousands of dollars. This program is helping us replace windows with high efficiency versions, reduce air drafts in the home, and even reduce excess water use! It is our hope that more people become green homeowners when they are buying a home or in a position to do so, it is easy and it is so important!”


3 - Lead Abatement and Energy Efficiency: As of October 15th, Milwaukee’s Common Council Finance Committee has allocated over $26 million towards lead abatement in Milwaukee homes. Part of that is a $2 million expansion of energy efficiency improvements in those same homes. While details are still being designed, more homes will be made safe, energy efficient, and will create good jobs in the process!

Said Richard Diaz, chair of the Coalition on Lead Emergency: “We are working to ensure environmental justice for our homeowners but also green climate-friendly homes overall. Our Black & Brown neighbors are not just seeing unjustly high lead levels in our homes, but those same homes are experiencing huge energy burdens in utility bills because they’re underinsulated, drafty and in vital need of improvements. Together we can create good jobs upgrading homes right now!”


Green Homeowners United also announced today that it is now the only unionized residential energy efficiency/weatherization organization in Milwaukee County, and will be one of the only contractors in Wisconsin that looks at a home’s energy efficiency and lead risk levels. 

Said Pam Fendt, president of Milwaukee Area Labor Council: “Right now union plumbers are replacing water heaters with high efficiency models, union electricians are installing solar panels, and now union Laborers are insulating & air sealing homes in Milwaukee too to make them energy efficient. Whether infrastructure legislation, Milwaukee's Me2 program or working with mortgage lenders, we have a tremendous opportunity to upgrade hundreds of homes in the Milwaukee area to make them safe and energy efficient.”




Organizations in support: Green Homeowners United, Sherman Park Community Association, Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Laborers Local 113, Grasslyn Manor Block Association, COLE (Coalition on Lead Emergency), Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Clean Wisconsin, Building Advantage and more.

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