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Green Power Partnership

Green Power Partnership Program Updates

Issue 15, December 19, 2013


Partner Spotlight: Groundswell


Groundswell, based in Washington, DC, helps mission-driven institutions and residents pool their purchasing power and shift to renewably sourced electricity. Through aggregated purchasing, institutions and residents gain access to affordable prices from energy suppliers while making the switch to clean power.  Groundswell uses a "Civic Consumption" model, a new framework for social change by which communities leverage their consumer power to drive social and environmental impact. Through its work, Groundswell is effectively expanding the market for green power while also freeing up revenue that mission-driven organizations can invest back into their services to vulnerable communities.

Q: What do you see as the benefits of using green power and what role does it play in Groundswell's broader business and environmental strategy?
Groundswell works with green power because environmental impact is built into our mission: we unlock communities' shared economic power to grow sustainability and expand prosperity on the local level. The clean energy economy holds promise in combating both economic inequality and environmental decline. But people need the tools and knowledge to build this new marketplace. Groundswell reaches out to communities directly to teach them about clean energy and how to leverage their shared economic power, and in doing so, we create an opportunity for communities to purchase power that aligns with their values.

Q: What steps does Groundswell take to reach its environmental goals?
Our Community Power Program helps mission-driven institutions and residents pool their purchasing power and shift to renewably sourced electricity, while also reducing their energy costs and securing new consumer protections from suppliers. We help families and nonprofits come together into one group and bid out the group's energy services to a supplier that provides clean power, strong consumer protections and other social benefits. Operating across the Mid-Atlantic, this program has helped 160 housing, education, and faith organizations, as well as over 1300 residents, shift to clean power and reduce the cost of their energy bills.

Q: What was your latest green power related project? What was the environmental impact?
This fall, Groundswell helped another group of 40 mission-based organizations switch to clean power and save money. The group included our partners at Interfaith Power & Light and others making a direct impact on the community, such as the Whitman-Walker Health clinic in DC.

This group purchase represents 18.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy consumption, and the entire group is now using 100 percent Green-e certified wind power. By making this switch to green power, we have avoided 12,857 metric tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to taking nearly 3,000 cars off the road for a year.

Read more about Groundswell, including how to join its Community Power Program Exit EPA Disclaimer .

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Welcome New Partners!

Nearly 50 organizations have joined the Green Power Partnership since September 4, 2013 (as of December 12, 2013). The GPP welcomes the organizations below:

Architecture Services: Helicon Works (Md.)

Banking & Financial Services: Congressional Bank / Maryland and DC Branches (Md.)

Clothing & Textile: Levi Strauss & Co. (Calif.)

Consumer Products: Kamanu Composites (Hawaii), Mansfield-King (Ind.), Trek Bicycle Corporation (Wis.)

Education (Higher): Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership (Ill.), University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Colo.), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (Ind.)

Food & Beverage: Popsations Popcorn Company (Md.), Pushcart Coffee / East Broadway (N.Y.)

Government (Local, Municipal): City of Medford (Ore.)

Green Power Community: Falls Church (Va.), Olympia (Wash.), Medford (Ore.)

Health Care: UPMC (Pa.), Dentists on Washington (Pa.)

Hotels & Lodging: Country Inn & Suites Hotel / Annapolis (Md.)

Industrial Goods & Services: Veteran Compost (Md.)

Insurance: Young Insurance & Financial Inc. (Md.), Fulcrum Insurance Programs (Wash.), Unum (Tenn.)

Legal Services: David A. Simison (Md.), Alston & Bird LLP (Calif.)

Media & Publishing: See Me Group, Inc. (N.Y.)

Non-Profit (NGO): North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce (S.C.)

Other: Arrow Parking / W. Fayette Street, W. Saratoga Street, N. Howard Street, W. Centre Street, W. Baltimore Street (Md.)

Printing & Packaging: Northpoint Graphic Studios, INC (Md.)

Real Estate: Javelina Station LP (Texas)

Recreation: extendYoga (Md.), Wolf Creek Ski Area (Colo.)

Religious: First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis (Md.)

Restaurants & Cafes: Jolo's Kitchen (N.Y.), Whynot Coffee (N.Y.), O'Brien's Sports Bar (N.H.)

Technology & Telecom: Bethesda Systems (Md.)

Wineries & Breweries: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Va.)

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Green Power Community Challenge Rankings Updated

Our fourth annual campaign to encourage communities coast-to-coast to use renewable energy and fight climate change is underway. During the Green Power Community (GPC) Challenge, GPCs will compete to see which one can achieve the highest green power percentage of total electricity use and which one can use the most green power (kWh). In the first update to the Challenge rankings, released today, Washington, DC maintains its spot at the top of the list for using the most green power annually at more than 1.1 billion kWh – an increase of more than 50 million kWh over its 2012-2013 Challenge total. Oak Park, IL continues to lead the pack in terms of percentage of green power use at 91.9 percent.

GPCs are towns, villages, cities, counties, or tribal governments in which the local government, businesses, and residents collectively use green power in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community purchase requirements. See the full list of current Challenge rankings.

We're happy to welcome three new communities to this year's challenge – Falls Church, VA; Medford, OR; and Olympia, WA. Find out how your community can join the Challenge before the next rankings update in March!

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Upcoming Webinar

Gaining a Green Marketing Advantage: Data-Driven Insights into Today's Green Consumer
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Register Here
Exit EPA Disclaimer

By understanding what today’s green consumers and potential employees care about and how they engage in sustainability decision-making, organizations can influence brand perception, impact sales and attract and retain top talent. Retail companies, green power suppliers and utilities, and any organization looking to reach environmentally-oriented consumers will benefit from this webinar.

The webinar will feature Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO of Shelton Group, a leading national marketing communications firm entirely focused in the energy and environment sectors. The company polls Americans on an ongoing basis to understand their drivers and obstacles to making more sustainable choices, and then uses those insights to help organizations define and leverage their sustainability or energy efficiency stories to gain a market advantage.  Suzanne Shelton is a regular presenter at the Renewable Energy Markets conference - she’s a dynamic and insightful speaker.

Webinar participants will also learn about:

  • The steps involved in creating attitude and behavior change among today’s consumers, including how to move people from automatic behaviors to conscious choices.
  • Which consumers to focus marketing efforts on and why.
  • Examples of how companies and organizations have combined their marketing efforts to make a bigger impact.

Speakers include:

  • Blaine Collison, Program Director, U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
  • Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO, Shelton Group

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Renewable Energy Data Book Details Growing Industry in 2012

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book. The annual report is a comprehensive assessment of renewable energy statistics for 2012, including worldwide renewable energy development, clean energy investments, and data on specific technologies.

Among the key findings: renewable electricity represented 14 percent of total U.S. installed capacity and more than 12 percent of total U.S. electric generation in 2012; installed U.S. renewable electricity capacity is more than 163 gigawatts; and in 2012, wind energy and solar photovoltaic systems were two of the fastest growing electric generation technologies in the United States. Cumulative U.S. installed wind energy capacity increased by nearly 28 percent, and cumulative installed U.S. solar photovoltaic capacity grew more than 83 percent from the previous year. See the Data Book Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Did You Know?

In 2013, Partners in EPA's Green Power Partnership have expanded their green power use by 4.9 billion kilowatt-hours to 29.3 billion kilowatt-hours. Their collective green power use is now equivalent to the annual electricity use of more than three million average American homes!

On Twitter? Post this fact: In 2013 #EPAGreenPower Partners increased their #greenpower use by 4.9 billion kWh! Join them now - visit 1.usa.gov/1kDtY4s.

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Reminder: Top Partner Rankings Data Deadline January 8

The next Top Partner Rankings update is scheduled for January 27. If your organization's green power use has recently changed, please submit any updates to your account manager no later than COB Wednesday, January 8 in order for the updated data to be reflected in the Top Partner Rankings update. If your organization's green power use has not changed, there is no need to submit an update. Visit the Top Partner Rankings section of the GPP website to see the current rankings as of September 19.

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Clean-Powered Businesses Lists Available Online

In addition to the Green Power Partnership list, online directories of organizations using green power are available from the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e Marketplace program and from CleanPowerPerks™. Green-e Marketplace enables companies to communicate their environmental commitment through the use of the Green-e logo when they have purchased a qualifying amount of Green-e Certified renewable energy. The Green-e Marketplace list is available here Exit EPA Disclaimer.

CleanPowerPerks, a web-based program connecting clean-powered businesses with like-minded consumers, recently launched an independent, consolidated directory of businesses in the U.S. that use clean power – the Shop Clean™ List. The list aims to equip consumers with information about brands that are advancing clean energy in the U.S. so that they can make informed purchasing decisions. The directory utilizes data from the GPP and the Green-e Marketplace program to identify clean-powered brands. Brands can also be added through a simple verification process with CleanPowerPerks. The Shop Clean List is available here Exit EPA Disclaimer.

Get Social! Post this fact to Twitter: @EPA has 114 retailers in #EPAGreenPower Partnership. When shopping this holiday season consider stores using #greenpower! (http://1.usa.gov/1cB41y3).

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Happy Holidays from GPP

The Green Power Partnership staff would like to wish you a happy holiday season, and thank you for all you do to support the green power market. We invite you to make a New Year's resolution to increase your green power use in 2014!

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 14, November 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 13, October 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 12, September 9, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 11, August 12, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 10, July 15, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 9, June 17, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 8, May 13, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 7, April 8, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 6, March 11, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 5, February 20, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 4, January 14, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 3, December 17, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 2, November 26, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 1, October 22, 2012

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