Season 5 • Episode 1

Farm and Rural Business Energy Efficiency


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About Season 5 Episode 1: Farm and Rural Business Energy Efficiency

Becoming more energy efficient not only cuts costs but also helps preserve our planet. Whether it’s transitioning to electric, conducting energy audits, or enhancing energy systems, committing to energy efficiency today promises future savings and fosters a healthier environment for everyone.

Discover ways to enhance energy efficiency, with a special focus on agricultural and rural enterprises, in this episode of the Rise Up Podcast. Hear from Jenny Brinker, project manager at GDS Associates, Inc., as she explores the available opportunities and resources for a greener tomorrow.

About Out Guest: Jenny Brinker

Jenny Brinker is a Project Manager at GDS Associates, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin and brings over 18 years of expertise in energy efficiency consulting. Focusing on serving farming communities and rural businesses, Brinker’s skills in Energy Management program implementation and technology have made her a key player in driving sustainable energy practices in the agricultural sector.

A Wisconsin native, Brinker holds a Master’s degree in Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a Certified Energy Manager recognized by the Association of Energy Engineers.

She has also demonstrated a passion for education. Her involvement in course creation for KEEP (Wisconsin’s K-12 Energy Education Program) has strengthened the school program across the state, and, even after returning to GDS, continues to serve as an adjunct professor for the Energy Management Technology program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. In 2019, Brinker was one of nine instructors nationwide selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) to study renewable energy storage in Germany and share that knowledge with college programs throughout the United States.

Episode Chapters:

00:00 Background and History

3:45 Jobs in Energy Efficiency

7:27 GDS Associates

9:37 Importance of building energy efficiency

10:57 Decarbonization

13:12 Lowest cost energy efficiency improvements

16:38 Demand charges

20:13 Air source heat pumps

26:56 Building energy efficiently

28:54 Focus on Energy

30:47 Farms and energy efficiency

34:43 Planning and resources

37:20 Challenges facing energy efficiency

41:06 Energy awareness

44:56 Energy professionals and incentives  

MREA Summer Events

Want to attend hands-on demonstrations and educational workshops focused on renewable energy and sustainable living? Join the MREA at our summer 2024 events in Custer, WI:

Industry Demo Day – Friday, June 21

The Energy Fair – Saturday, June 22


Address: 7558 Deer Rd. Custer, WI 54423
Phone: (715)-592-6595

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.