2014 Green Power Leadership Award Winners
We would like to congratulate the winners of the 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards (GPLAs). They received their awards at the ceremony taking place on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Renewable Energy Markets conference in Sacramento, CA. We announced the winners on November 19, 2014, you can read the release about the CRS Market Development Awards Winners.
2014 CRS Market Development Award Winners
The three Market Development Awards recognize individuals, companies, or other renewable energy industry leaders that have helped build the market for green power:
- Green Power Market Development: Apple Inc., Mary Sotos, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
- Leadership in Green Power Education: Puget Sound Energy
- Green Power Leader of the Year: Robert Maddox
2014 EPA Partner and Supplier Award Winners
EPA recognized leading green power purchasers and suppliers in six categories: Sustained Excellence in Green Power, Green Power Partners of the Year, Green Power Communities of the Year, Green Power Purchasing, On-site Generation, Green Power Suppliers of the Year. This year’s Green Power Purchaser and Supplier Award Winners are:
- Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Intel Corporation, Kohl’s Department Stores
- Green Power Partners of the Year: Apple Inc., BD, Google, Oklahoma State University
- Green Power Communities of the Year: Medford, OR Community; Oak Ridge, TN Community
- Green Power Purchasing: City of Houston, TX; City of Beaverton, OR; Herman Miller, Inc.; June Key Delta Community Center; Philadelphia Insurance Cos.; REI; Steelcase, Inc.; Town of Peterborough, NH; Trek Bicycle Corp
- On-site Generation: City of Las Vegas, City of Philadelphia
- Green Power Suppliers of the Year: 3Degrees; Portland General Electric; Renewable Choice Energy; Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES)
2014 GPLA Winner Descriptions
CRS Market Development Awards:
Green Power Market Development
Apple Inc. has one of the strongest commitments to clean energy of any company in the world. In 2014, Apple began working with Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e program on an innovative new way to certify the clean energy Apple was generating and purchasing directly to meet its renewable energy goals. Called Green-e Direct, this new program ensures the clean energy Apple is using to power its facilities has been third-party certified and retired on behalf of the company. As the first company to have its renewable energy certificates certified under Green-e Direct, Apple has shown leadership in their commitment and innovation in clean energy procurement.
The company has a goal of 100% renewable energy for all Apple owned and operated facilities, including corporate facilities, retail stores, and data centers. To help achieve this goal, the company built two solar farms and a biogas fuel cell facility near its Maiden, North Carolina data center, which together are the largest privately-owned clean energy facilities in the U.S. Since January 2013, Apple powers all of its U.S. data centers and corporate facilities with 100% renewable energy. By requiring Green-e certification for all of its REC purchases, Apple is showcasing its green power leadership and commitment to high quality and impactful renewable energy purchases.
Innovation is key to Apple in achieving their 100 percent renewable goal: with over a hundred corporate facilities, over 250 retail stores in the U.S., and four major data centers, Apple must implement renewable solutions in almost every state and in numerous regulatory environments. In 2012, Apple created a new regulatory pathway for others to follow by working with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to develop state-specific rules under which fuel cells supplied by biogas from landfills or other renewable sources can be used to generate renewable energy. In 2013, in Nevada, the company partnered with NV Energy to create a new green energy tariff with two options: a generic option from utility-owned renewable projects (this option is used to supply Apple’s Reno retail store); and a customizable option to build your own project (this option is used for Apple’s 20-MW PV project supporting its Reno data center). This new green tariff is now available to all NV Energy commercial customers.
Since 2010, Mary Sotos has been leading a process at the World Resources Institute to develop new greenhouse gas accounting guidance that will strengthen the ability of all companies to understand and disclose the emissions associated with their renewable energy purchases. Companies and governments purchase renewable energy in large part because of the greenhouse gas benefit, and being able to credibly quantify this benefit will continue to grow the market for renewable energy worldwide, reduce emissions and combat climate change. The guidance Mary has developed will serve as a template for how purchasers document and market these attributes, and will provide necessary rules and requirements that will improve the transparency of the product information that utilities and retailers provide. It will also establish, for the first time, a means to show the real emissions for those not purchasing renewable energy.
The process Mary has been leading has been a complex and often contentious one, with diverse and vocal stakeholders from around the globe who understand the implications of the final guidance to influence the market for years to come, advocating strongly for their view of how greenhouse gas accounting for all electricity purchases, especially renewable energy, should be done. Mary’s role has required diplomacy and patience, as well as technical expertise. Credit is due to her for nearly singlehandedly managing this crucial update through a long and complex process that will, in the end, provide necessary clarity to market participants that they can continue to choose renewable energy that reduces their environmental impact.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)’s Greenergy program is one of the most innovative green-pricing programs in the country and in 2013 accomplished several remarkable milestones. For only $6 per month, a residential Greenergy customer offsets 100 percent of their usage with clean certified renewable energy. Last year more than 60,000 participants (or 11.5 percent of eligible residential customers) participated in the program. In addition to offsetting their electric usage, Greenergy participants have contributed to the construction of three wind turbines at SMUD’s Solano Wind Farm and rebuilt the Slab Creek dam on the Upper American River.
SMUD’s Green-e certified Greenergy program is one of the largest in the country, ranking number four in “Green Pricing Program Renewable Energy Sales” in National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s December 2013 update to its U.S. Top Ten Utility Green Power Programs list. The Greenergy program has been in existence since 1997, making it one of the oldest in the nation. Over the last three years growth in the program has accelerated tremendously. Customer representatives were trained to focus on education, and were given new incentives and recognition programs that resulted in a successful engagement campaign with customers. In 2013 almost 11,000 enrollments were driven by customer service representatives in the SMUD contact center. Customers continue to be excited about the program, and in 2014, SMUD is on pace to exceed 2013 enrollments by 2,000 participants.
Greenergy is often looked to as one of the best examples in green-pricing program design consisting of a strong portfolio of locally owned and operated renewable energy generation. It boasts a high subscription rate through frequent engagement with customers, which is especially impressive considering its widespread and rural customer base.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
The Federal government’s commitment to renewable energy sets a strong example for the rest of the country. In December 2013 President Obama issued a memorandum, directing federal agencies to procure 20% of their electricity from clean, renewable resources by 2020. This landmark Executive Order directs agencies to build new on-site renewable energy projects, as well as buy green power and renewable energy certificates (RECs) sourced from facilities built within the past 10 years. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is responsible for implementing the Executive Order, with coordination and input from other government agencies.
The federal government has increased its commitment to renewable energy over the past several years—from creating sustainability plans, to accounting for greenhouse gases, to buying renewable energy. The new memorandum on “Federal Leadership on Energy Management” doubles previous targets for renewable energy consumption by federal agencies. Milestone goals start at 10% by 2015 and ramp up to 20% by 2020.
As a large consumer of energy, the Obama administration and CEQ are leading the way by addressing the federal government’s electricity consumption. They are helping to “create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation’s prosperity, promote energy security, combat climate change, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment.”
CRS Market Development Awards:
Leadership in Green Power Education
Puget Sound Energy
In 2013, Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program began a year-long education plan to teach its customers about solar power. The “Year of the Sun” campaign used digital and print media, personal outreach, community competitions, and demonstration projects to heighten awareness and educate customers about solar power. The campaign included five Green Power Community Challenges and a solar sweepstakes that reached over a hundred thousand account holders through the mail, ten thousand at their doorstep, and hundreds at events ranging from farmers markets to chambers of commerce meetings.
The campaign was successful, resulting in over 10,000 new accounts enrolled and six solar demonstration projects funded—doubling the total number of Green Power–sponsored solar projects. Five of them will be located on high-profile community buildings, where city officials can get more experience with the technology and local residents can learn about solar through educational components such as real-time data monitoring. The campaign also earned media attention, hundreds of viewers of the Solar Works video, and new social media followers, while increasing website traffic by 58%. Puget Sound Energy is pleased that the year-long campaign resulted in a better understanding of solar energy and how it can be part of the Northwest’s clean energy future.
PSE also received a CRS Best Marketing Campaign by a Green Power Supplier Award in 2012.
CRS Market Development Awards:
Green Power Leader of the Year
For decades, Bob Maddox has been one of the most visible and vocal champions of renewable energy in the country, and this award recognizes his significant contribution and years of leadership in promoting green power. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, Bob served as an appointed member of the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group, where his recent successful efforts to integrate clean energy usage into the green-building standard have ensured that renewable energy will continue to be an integral part of sustainable building design. As a vocal champion for updating the LEED standard to incorporate the use of clean energy that meets the most stringent requirements—including increasing the amount and duration of purchases and requiring Green-e certification or equivalent for both green power and carbon offsets—Bob deserves great credit for the updates to the energy and environment LEED requirements.
Bob also served for 14 years as a member of the Connecticut General Assembly, where he worked to develop a strong renewable portfolio for the state. In 2003, Bob joined Sterling Planet and helped develop green power programs in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. At Sterling Planet, he worked with Microsoft to help the company become one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy and carbon offsets in the country.
In 2008 Bob helped establish the Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA) and has been one of its most active members. He continues to show leadership and initiative in promoting renewable energy throughout the Northeast, and is a tireless advocate for policies and standards that help establish clean energy as the foundation for electricity purchases nationwide.
For additional information on Center for Resource Solutions, visit www.resource-solutions.org.
For questions about the CRS Market Development Awards, contact Lucy Harbor at 415-561-2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electricity generated from renewable sources is becoming increasingly available nationwide. By choosing green power instead of conventional electricity, consumers, businesses, and organizations can support increased deployment of renewable energy technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation and increase energy security.
To recognize the actions of individuals, companies and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) sponsored the 2015 Green Power Leadership Awards. The 2014 Green Power Leadership Awards were held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Renewable Energy Markets conference in Sacramento, CA.
No endorsement by the EPA is intended or implied.