Operational Excellence
October 25, 2020

Experience is always the best teacher

Wisconsin interns tackle real world energy issues

Something special happens when a student takes the first step toward applying what they’ve learned in school, into the workplace. And internships jumpstart that. For the last decade, Xcel Energy has supported a unique energy management and conservation intern program to provide students that opportunity to find a starting place for their careers. And local companies have also been enriched.

A workshop helps initiate the process

Xcel Energy offers Envinta workshops to help businesses understand energy efficiency opportunities. The workshop helps businesses explore and identify goals and the tools to help integrate best practices into their business operations.

Often energy management and conservation programs are nice-to-have options, not always need-to-have priorities. After the workshop, businesses come away with a wish list of potential projects but may not have staff with the bandwidth to take on new initiatives. This turns out to be an ideal fit for an intern who can help bring these new energy management and conservation efforts to life for the business.

Energy interns prove their value

To help businesses engage interns, Xcel Energy co-funds up to 50% of the costs of an internship program, up to a total $2,500. The business hires the intern and determines the project scope.

Most internships are done over a semester or summer. Interns are usually juniors or seniors in college or trade school, often pursuing engineering careers. In 2019, nine internships were created in Xcel Energy’s service area in Wisconsin.

Xcel Energy has been supporting internships for nearly a decade. It also supports these management and conservation efforts with available rebates or other financial incentives.

Variety of projects help companies leverage greater efficiency

Energy-intensive companies utilize interns to measure and analyze the effectiveness of various systems and operations. Some examples include:

  • Compressed air configurations
  • Boiler and natural gas use
  • Lighting inventory, motor inventory and evaluation
  • Dock door heat loss air heating analysis.

Recent, real-life example

American Phoenix is one of the largest single-location custom rubber mixing facilities in America. They are in Eau Claire and just completed an intern to full-time employee transformation. Which is business as usual, because for the past several years American Phoenix has become a pipeline for new full-time job placements via the Xcel Energy intern program. A winning proposition for the intern, the company and Xcel Energy.

To learn more about Envinta workshops and Xcel Energy intern programs, contact your Xcel Energy Account Manager by calling 800-481-4700 or via email at bsc@xcelenergy.com