Energy Fair 2023

June is the month of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s (MREA) annual Energy Fair! This year, the event will take place Friday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 25th. The event location is, as always, at the MREA headquarters in rural Custer, Wisconsin.

If you are following this blog, you are probably looking to solve problems around the energy efficiency of your house, have green building or building science questions, or want to make your home more sustainable. I hope the blog will answer some of your questions. But I am sure that a day at the Energy Fair will answer a lot of your questions.

The Fair is a wonderful mix of educational sessions, entertainment, and exhibitors and vendors, many of whom show products that may become handy in making your home more energy efficient.

The educational sessions take place in large tents on the fairgrounds. There are eight to twelve tents (depending on the year) with sessions running parallel to each other all day long. Most sessions are an hour long.

The subjects covered include building electrification, energy efficiency, electrical vehicles and clean transportation, going solar, policy and community organizing, project finance, sustainable farms and food production, etc. You can take a look through the workshop schedule here.

Cathy and I attended the workshop the first time back in 2007. We were there just for the big day, which is always Saturday. It was a very long day, but worth every second. We came back home with so much useful information and so many of our questions answered. And even better, we came home with so many more questions generated. It was the jump off for our deep dive into our deep energy retrofit project.

The next time we attended, we opted to go for the full three days of the Energy Fair to take home as much information as we could, for the pure joy and fun of the event, to meet up with old friends, and to network and make new friends. And we’ve attended all three days just about every year since then, except when they paused the Fair during Covid.

Attending the event is surprisingly inexpensive. A one day pass at the gate cost you $20. A weekend pass at the gate costs a mere $45. I can’t remember a conference or fair I attended that only charged $45 for three days, and offered this amount and quality of workshops, exhibitors and entertainment!

If you would like to dip your feet into the MREA Energy Fair world to see if this is something for you, I would recommend driving up to Custer for Saturday, like we did back in 2007. I would not be surprised if we will see you again the following years on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Because this is an event one starts looking forward to starting in January!

And no, I have not been asked by MREA to write this post or promote the Energy Fair, nor am I paid compensated by MREA. This is a wonderful and fun resource that I believe is worthwhile sharing. I have, however, been honored to present some educational sessions over the past few years – and I’m presenting two sessions this year.

Hope to see you in Custer the weekend of June 23rd!

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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