Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the MREA?
  2. What is the vision of the MREA?
  3. What is the organizational status of the MREA?
  4. What does the MREA do?
  5. Who are the members of the MREA?
  6. How is the MREA funded?
  7. What other information about the MREA is available?
  8. Do you offer link exchanges?

Answers

What is the MREA?

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. The MREA is working to protect the environment by educating the public about appropriate use of natural resources to meet our energy needs.

What is the vision of the MREA?

The MREA will provide the highest quality renewable energy education and training experiences available. Our programs and services will respond to evolving energy issues, empower people to make wise lifestyle choices, and be accessible to the broadest possible audience. We will share our success with other like-minded organizations, recognizing that we are stronger when we all work together for our common goals.

What is the organizational status of the MREA?

The MREA is a non-profit 501(C)3 tax-exempt organization. The organization was incorporated in March of 1990 in the state of Wisconsin.

What does the MREA do?

The MREA promotes renewable energy through education and demonstration.

MREA events and initiatives include:

  • The Energy Fair: Each June the MREA hosts The Energy Fair. This is the longest running energy education event in the nation and offers programs for all ages and knowledge levels. Powered by renewable energy systems, The Energy Fair offers the chance to see over 200 businesses and non-profit organizations representing a large spectrum of energy and environmental services including: renewable energy and energy efficient products, environmental advocacy groups, and educational organizations. Nearly 200 workshops are offered each year at The Energy Fair and they are taught by experts and educators in the renewable energy field providing participants with a one of a kind learning experience.
  • ReNew the Earth Institute (REI): The  (REI) is the MREA’s demonstration site and educational facility. The REI has working renewable energy systems [Solar Electric (PV), Solar Domestic Hot Water, Solar Hot Air, Wind, and masonry stove] and educational displays. Visitors to the REI can take guided and self-guided tours of the facilities and renewable energy systems.
  • Milwaukee Office: In July 2008 MREA opened an office in Milwaukee. MREA Milwaukee’s goal is to increase its training and education in southeast Wisconsin and beyond. The Milwaukee office allows MREA to easily collaborate with other organizations like Milwaukee Shines, the City of Milwaukee's Solar America City program, the Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, and Milwaukee Community Service Corps. The MREA Milwaukee office is located in the shared office space of the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium at 1845 N. Farwell Avenue, Suite 100 and is also a member organization of Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee – a workplace giving campaign dedicated to social justice, animal welfare, and the environment. Check out the activities of the MREA Milwaukee office!
  • Courses: The MREA hosts a variety of educational courses for all knowledge levels throughout the year as well as online, on-demand courses that can be taken any time, at your own pace. Courses vary in length from one hour to multiple weeks. Experts in the field of renewable energy instruct in classroom settings, at on-site installation locations, and online. Course participants come from varied backgrounds including: homeowners, builders, educators, architects, engineers, and more. Participants can receive Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for attending approved courses.
  • Solar Thermal Conference: Each year since 2009 MREA has hosted the SOLAR THERMAL National Solar Heating & Cooling Conference. This one of a kind national solar heating and cooling event is a two-day conference and networking opportunity for industry professionals including: installers, manufacturers, distributors, engineers, designers, policy makers, code officials, and trainers. The event is traditionally held the first week of December.
  • Midwest Solar Training Network (MSTN): The MSTN is a group of technical and community colleges, non-profit organizations, universities, and industry partners who are working together to build solar training capacity in the Midwest. It is a U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) funded five-year effort working in a seven state region (IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, OH, WI). MSTN offers solar instructor training and other professional development opportunities. It is one of nine in the Solar Instructor Training Network.
  • Site Assessor Certificate Program: The MREA Site Assessment Certificate is available in three technologies (PV, Wind, and Solar Domestic Hot Water) and is an entry-level credential. The certificate verifies MREA course completion, as well as satisfactory completion of site assessment program requirements. Those that hold certificates have completed the required MREA training, have had two practice assessments approved by a technology mentor, and have passed a site assessment exam for a specific renewable energy technology.
  • Grow Solar Wisconsin: Grow Solar Wisconsin is a group of Wisconsin cities, non-profits, and other organizations that was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant through the SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge. The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.
  • Tour of Solar Homes and Businesses: As a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, the MREA hosts an October tour of homes and businesses throughout Wisconsin. Buildings on the tour demonstrate renewable energy systems, energy efficient construction, and alternative/green building techniques.
  • Newsletter: ReNews is a semiannual newsletter that includes articles on energy issues, book reviews, upcoming events, and general information on the MREA and its activities.

Who are the members of the MREA?

The MREA currently has over 2,500 active members from around the world, representing 39 states and three foreign countries. There are a variety of membership levels designed to accommodate different needs and budgets – from students to businesses. To join MREA as a member, click here. A complete membership brochure is also available.

How is the MREA funded?

The MREA attempts to maintain a diverse income stream. Funding for our work comes from program fees, grants, donations, and independent contracts. All donations are welcome, tax deductible, and can be designated for specific projects.

What other information about the MREA is available?

We would be happy to send you more information about our organization. The following brochures and materials are available:

Do you offer link exchanges?

Although we appreciate link exchange offers, at this time, we only put links for our business members on our website. This is a benefit to those who have a business membership with the MREA.