The Energy Department announced today that it has received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual awards recognize the country’s leading green power consumers for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented the Energy Department with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas, on September 23, 2013.
The Department was one of only eight organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for utilization of green power. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier. The Department is currently consuming more than 698 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 13.8% of the organization’s purchased electricity use. The Department is buying a combination of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and utility green power products from various providers. In addition, the Department is generating green power from on-site solar, geothermal, wind, low-impact hydro, and biomass energy systems.
The Department currently ranks No. 6 on EPA’s National Top 50 list, as well as No. 2 on EPA’s Top 20 On-site list, and No. 1 on EPA’s Top 10 Federal Government list. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners using the most renewable energy annually as of July 3, 2013. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power accelerates the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
According to the EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy's current green power purchase of more than 698 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 86,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly more than 62,000 average American homes annually.