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Green Power Partnership

Green Power Partnership Program Updates

Issue 16, January 13, 2014


Partner Spotlight: Westtown School

Solar Panels
Solar array atop Westtown School's athletic center.

Westtown School, located in West Chester, PA, is a private educational institution for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. A day and boarding school with 632 students, Westtown is using green power for 100 percent of its electricity needs and joined the Green Power Partnership in September 2013.

Q. Why did your school decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power and what role does it play in your school's broader business and environmental strategy?
The health and welfare of our students and of the broader world they inhabit is our highest priority; buying green power demonstrates that commitment perfectly. As a Quaker institution, Westtown School has been practicing sustainability in many ways since its founding in 1799, but in 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted a formal Sustainability Mission Statement and created a Sustainability Committee in 2008. One of the first projects we took on was to install a 44kW solar array on our athletic center. At the heart of campus, it serves as a highly visible indicator of the School's commitment. We then began an aggressive conservation effort, and have reduced electricity use by 18 percent campus-wide. The avoided costs allowed us to buy 6 percent of our energy from wind RECs in 2008 as well as to invest in other energy conservation initiatives. When our electricity contract came due this year, our Director of Facilities immediately took advantage of more competitive renewable energy rates to secure an attractive three-year contract for 100 percent RECs from wind projects. This commitment has cut Westtown's emissions from electricity, heating, and cooling by 65 percent over 2007 levels, well ahead of our initial timetable.

Q. Is your school currently striving to achieve a green power goal and is there a timeframe? What steps are being taken to reach it?
Since we have achieved carbon-neutrality for electricity ahead of schedule, we are in the process of re-setting goals and a timetable for reaching carbon-neutrality in heating systems as well. We are about to audit the central natural gas-powered steam plant which provides heat for many campus buildings, so that we can create a timetable for reducing use of natural gas. Over the past 15 years, we have installed geothermal heating and cooling in eight campus buildings: two dormitories, the LEED Science Center, and five faculty residences.  Pending the outcome of the steam plant audit, we will either continue to take one major building off the plant every five years, or explore other options for operating the central system more efficiently.

Q. Describe any innovative green power strategies your school has implemented or is planning. Do you have any upcoming projects or strategies that relate to your school's green power usage?
Over the past few years, we have actively explored the idea of installing a large solar array (500 kW to 1 megawatt) on campus through a PPA or similar investment model, either with an additional roof mount system, a ground mount system, or both. We are also launching a Summer Science Institute in 2014 to be housed in our new LEED Science Center. One of the courses offered will be "Sustainable Energy Exploration: Wind, Water, and Solar Solutions." Between the 44 kW solar array, the new solar hot water system on the Science Center, and eight geothermal systems in campus buildings, there are plenty of renewable energy systems for students to learn from.

Q. What are two or three lessons you've learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use?
The move towards green power purchasing is best pursued, in our experience, along with other sustainability initiatives, so that each project reinforces the others. For instance, our energy conservation efforts quickly led to a closer look at campus recycling, and the subsequent trash audit we conducted revealed that we had lots of room for improvement. Through education and better placement of receptacles and signage, we jumped from 20 percent to 55 percent waste diversion in only two years, simultaneously reducing waste hauling fees by $30,000 a year. It helps to consider the extra cost for green power within the arena of a larger sustainability strategy, as savings in one area can provide funding for others.

Read more about Westtown's sustainability programs here Exit EPA Disclaimer .

Are you a Partner interested in promoting your green power use? Tweet this:
We're one of more than 1,500 #EPAGreenPower Partners collectively using more than 28 billion kWh of #greenpower. Join us - 1.usa.gov/1kDtY4s

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Upcoming Webinars: January 15 and February 12

Remember to sign up for and attend GPP's webinars coming up in January and February!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)
Gaining a Green Marketing Advantage: Data-Driven Insights into Today's Green Consumer

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

Register for this webinar Exit EPA Disclaimer

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
1:00-2:00 pm (EST)
Smart Roofs: Portfolio-Based Roof Asset and Energy Management

The way you manage your roofs can have a big impact on your energy consumption and carbon footprint, and position you as a community leader. This webinar will demonstrate, through a case study in our nation's capital, how you can turn your roofs from a liability into a sustainable asset. The Washington, D.C. Department of General Services is successfully integrating roof asset and energy management to reduce its energy use by 20 percent across its entire municipal portfolio, including schools, police and fire facilities, and parks and recreation buildings. The municipality includes 435 buildings with more than 40 million square feet.

Participants will learn about how to implement the following Smart Roof Objectives:

  • Conserving Energy: Insulating, air-barrier, and daylighting
  • Reducing Runoff: Collecting, retaining, and re-using rainwater
  • Reflecting Heat: Reducing temperatures across the city
  • Collecting Solar Energy: Producing electricity and hot water
  • Managing Carbon: Tracking and reducing carbon footprints
  • Leading: Identifying and demonstrating best practices

Speakers include:

  • Blaine Collison, Program Director, U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership
  • Sam Brooks, Associate Director, D.C. Department of General Services, Energy & Sustainability Division
  • Paul Lanning, Vice President, BLUEFIN, LLC, a national roof management company.

Register for this webinar Exit EPA Disclaimer

Are you on Twitter? Help us promote GPP's webinars:

Upcoming #EPAGreenPower webinars focus on green consumers and smart roofs. Attend the webinars to learn more - http://1.usa.gov/19dWJVn

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By The Numbers

By using clean, renewable energy, Green Power Partners are helping to grow the market for green power. Below is a breakdown of the different types of green power products Partners are using:

pie chart

Visit GPP's Types of Products Web page for more information about the various types of green power products.

On Twitter? Tweet this:

#EPAGreenPower Partners use a variety of #greenpower products. Learn more here: http://1.usa.gov/1eHkjYQ.

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Special Advertising Opportunity for Partners: Bloomberg Businessweek

Thumbnail of the article in April 15, 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek. The Green Power Partnership is pleased to again inform Partners of an opportunity to participate in a paid advertising supplement in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine in the April 21, 2014 issue to coincide with Earth Day. Along with highlighting the Partnership and Partners, the section will be designed to educate the corporate community on ways forward-thinking organizations are strategically using green power to meet their environmental and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The opportunity to place an ad closes on March 7, and the deadline to submit materials is March 31. You can find previous advertising supplements here. If you would like more information about this opportunity, please contact Jordan Hyman at Bloomberg at (212) 617-3709.

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Top Partner Lists and College & University Challenge Updates Coming Soon!

The Green Power Partnership will release updated Top Partner Rankings and the latest College & University Challenge rankings on January 27, which will be the first update of 2014. To review the most current rankings, visit the Top Partner Rankings section and the College & University Challenge section of the GPP website.

The next Top Partner Rankings update is scheduled for April 21, 2014, and Partners will need to submit any green power use updates to their account managers no later than March 25, 2014.

GPP will also update the College & University Challenge rankings on April 21, 2014, which will be the final update for the Challenge.

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Green Power Partnership Dates to Remember for 2014

Below is a list of important dates for Green Power Partners.

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.

Top Partner Rankings Updates Data Deadlines:
  • March 25, 2014
  • July 1, 2014
  • October 1, 2014
Rankings Update Schedule:
  • January 27, 2014
  • April 21, 2014
  • July 28, 2014
  • October 27, 2014
College & University Challenge Updates Data Deadlines:
  • March 25, 2014
Challenge Update Schedule:
  • January 27, 2014
  • April 21, 2014 (final update for 2013-14)
Green Power Community Challenge Updates Rankings Update Schedule:
  • April 2014
  • June 2014
  • September 2014 (final usage determined September 1, 2014)
Green Power Leadership Awards Nomination Period Open:
  • On or around February 24, 2014
Nomination Period Closing:
  • On or around April 7, 2014
* Please note that the Awards will be presented at the Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Fall 2014.

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Upcoming Event: Climate Leadership Conference, Feb. 24-26

The third annual Climate Leadership Conference (CLC) will take place February 24-26 in San Diego, CA. Headline sponsored by the EPA, the CLC's distinctive program convenes a global audience of executives and practitioners addressing climate change through innovation and business solutions. During the conference, EPA, along with the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry, will present the 2014 Climate Leadership Awards. This national awards program recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit the conference website Exit EPA Disclaimer .

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 15, December 19, 2013
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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