I was glad to see that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised its Green Power Partnership program requirements last week. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages the use of renewable energy in the United States.
My firm was chosen to be a Green Power Partner in 2008 because we offset 100% of our energy with Green-e certified wind power – we have continued the initiative and have gotten a number of our suppliers to join our consortium (we work with Renewable Choice Energy).
Below are the notable changes:
- Minimum purchase percentages have risen for an organization to be able to be included in the program
- Program requires purchase of new renewable energy, rather than from existing sources. As the announcement stated, “The Partnership’s primary objective is to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the U.S. power sector by increasing renewable energy supply.”
- Window for making an initial green power purchase has tightened – new partners will only have 6 months (rather than the previously-allowed 12) to make an initial purchase. I like this change because companies won’t be able to market their involvement in the program without making the necessary investment in renewable energy…if it were up to me, I would shorten the window even further.
These are encouraging changes, as participating companies will now have to make more substantial investments in new energy sources in a shorter timeframe, helping to weed out the types of companies that join to make the minimum investment possible for the purposes of greenwashing.