A Good Year–in fact, Many

A Retrospective

2010-2017 Sustainable Atwood helped to make many good things happen for our neighborhood and planet …

We hope you will find many more ways to create a healthy city and planet in 2017.  Enormous thanks to the many volunteers who make it all possible.

2016 Metro Mavens

Our delightful mother-daughter volunteer team, Mel and Lydia Siegler, keep our SAMCC program stable, affordable and available to a growing ridership of 50 cardholders.
SAMCC is an unlimited ride bus pass program that saves cardholders $.75 per ride–$1.50 every round trip on Madison Metro buses. The SAMCC is for anyone (yes, you) in the Madison area who takes the bus occasionally, or for those who ride it every day. Both types of riders get big savings and lower their carbon footprint!
Thanks to these two Metro Mavins [experts], SAMCC is rolling smoothly on.
If your car has an average MPG and you drive 10 miles each way to work taking the bus will keep over 70 pounds of carbon out of the air every week!

Sustainable Atwood’s new office and tool library space!

Sustainable Atwood has a new home!

2014_SustainableAtwoodNewOffice03We are very excited to announce that our office is now located at Zion Church at 2165 Linden Ave. in  Madison (mailing address: 2018 Helena St., Madison 53704).  The new office and library space is great; we couldn’t be happier with the move or the people we share the building with–especially Pastor Pat Siegler and the people of ZC, piano and yoga teachers, and artists.  Keep an eye on our Atwood Tool Libraryopening soon!

Check it out!

Home, Sweet Home. Thank you Zion Church.


ATL Makeover 7
The beautiful bones of our Atwood Tool Library.

Zion Church - Sustainable Atwood New Office
Sustainable Atwood’s new office is located at Zion Lutheran Church on Linden Ave.


MGE’s Radical Rate Redesign Threatens Solar Market

Summary of MG&Es Rate Proposal for 2015 and 2016

 Overview: MGE is proposing to restructure electric rates, effective January 1, 2015. The restructuring would take the form of sharply higher fixed charges each month and lower rates for energy use.  From the current level of $10/month, MGE proposes increasing monthly fixed charges to $22 in 2015 and $50 in 2016. The per-kilowatt-hour rate would decline during this period. This shift will affect customers positively or negatively based on their usage. This proposal, which surfaced in MGEs current rate case in early June, is on a fast track.  The Public Service Commission will review MGEs proposal and make a decision on it in late fall 2014.

Big picture impacts:  Shifting revenue capture from variable energy rates to fixed charges will increase monthly bills for lower-use customers (<550 kWh/month) while lowering them for higher-use customers (>550 kWh/month). Low and middle income households are predominately lower-use customers and high income households are the heaviest users of electric energy. The lower energy rates will greatly weaken the economic rationale for efficiency measures and on-site solar generation. Moreover, efficiency and on-site solar will have no effect on fixed charges, which will become a larger component of monthly bills for all customers. There appears to be no upside for lower use customers.

Higher use customers will see lower electric bills, and very high use customers will realize significant bill reductions. They too would see little economic benefit from energy-saving measures and/or self-generating with solar should they want to pursue such options.

For residential and small commercial customers, the most significant changes would occur in 2016, when MGE would institute a demand charge that cannot be lowered through behavior changes (e.g. time of use) or more efficient appliances. For the majority of customers, fixed charges would account for more than 50% of their monthly bills.

Impacts on Solar Market: A radically flattened rate structure would likely reduce the Madison-area solar market to near-nonexistence in a very short time. Compared with 2014 rates, the rates in 2016 would cut the economic return from solar energy in half. MGEs offer to grandfather existing systems under the current rate structure is a tacit admission of the suppressing effects that future rates will have on solar self-generation. Moreover, the proposed cut-off date for grandfathered solar systems has passed (June 1, 2014). Installations planned for the second half of 2014 will not be protected from the energy rate reductions proposed for 2015 and 2016.

Conclusions: If adoptedMGEs rate restructuring proposal would:

  • Penalize lower-use customers (ie: solar customers [SA ed])
  • Discourage energy efficiency across the board
  •  Throw Madisons solar market in reverse
Prepared by RENEW Wisconsin

June 2016


Urban Forest Fest | July 26, 2014

urbanForestFestJoin Sustainable Atwood and  Wisconsin Urban Wood as we host the Urban Forest Fest! Its happening during the AtwoodFest in Madison on July 26.

Event details:

Date: July 26, 2014

Time: 10am-4pm

Location: 1904 Winnebago St, Madison WI 53704 – Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot

Questions? Email trees@sustainableatwood.org

Dead trees are wood, not waste.

Map the neighborhood sharing gardens – RipeNearMe

Share your veggies with your neighbor’s with this great website, RipeNearMe!ripeNearMeHomepageScreenshot

As your garden starts to get going this summer and you don’t know how you could possibly eat 20 cucumbers a day, try sharing them with your neighbors with this website. This site started in Australia and folks are just beginning to use it in the US, so right now there aren’t any dots on the map for Madison, WI. Let’s change that!

Add your spring and summer veggies to the map as they ripen, and then share or sell your local, organic food with your neighbors.

Here is a screen shot of the website listing all the locations around the US that are currently using this website:





RipeNearMe: http://www.ripenear.me/

For a sustainable neighborhood, yours, mine, ours.