Carol Stemrich

Award category


Year released


Carol Stemrich Wins Leadership Award for Influential Role in Improving Wisconsin’s Energy Efficiency

33-year Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Veteran Celebrated for Key Role in Establishing Focus on Energy

MADISON – Carol Stemrich wins the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) 2015 Inspiring Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for launching Focus on Energy, one of the first successful statewide energy efficiency programs which established Wisconsin as a national leader in energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency has been my passion because it improves everyone’s lives,” said Carol Stemrich, demand side manager for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. “As I look back over my 33-year career, one of the moments that stand out is the Commission’s decision to require the utilities to achieve additional energy efficiency as a condition of approval of their power plant applications. This award is another moment; this came as a complete surprise.”

Throughout the mid to late 1980’s, Carol was responsible for overseeing the state’s utility energy conservation plans. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Carol assembled and led a team dedicated to responding to statewide energy efficiency issues.

In 1999, Carol’s experience in the regulatory environment prepared her to lead the largest transition in energy efficiency policy Wisconsin had ever seen. With the passing of Wisconsin Act 9, Focus on Energy was established as Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy resource program.

She served as the subject matter expert and sounding board as Wisconsin lawmakers later drafted Act 141. Once this legislation passed, she supported the transition of oversight from the Department of Administration to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

“Carol’s vision for Act 141 turned statutes into an administrative road map that has made Focus on Energy one of the most recognized and admired energy efficiency programs in the country,” said Chad Bulman, director of Energy Portfolios – Focus on Energy at Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.

“Carol is the authority on energy efficiency questions for utilities, the Commission and the public,” added Phil Montgomery, chairperson of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

“We have learned that Carol’s name is synonymous with energy efficiency in Wisconsin,” said Stacey Paradis, MEEA interim executive director. “Carol is an excellent example of the kind of leaders we need to advance statewide efforts to improve energy efficiency. We are proud to recognize her for her accomplishments over the past 33 years.”

Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (, MEEA’s Inspiring Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award is presented to an organization or individual who has served as a strong leader in support of energy efficiency in their city, state, region, company or community. 


IEA-2015_awards-release_leadership_stemrich.pdf (128.29 KB)