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How to Buy Green Power

How do you buy power from renewable energy providers, or make the case for the business benefits of green power? A new document, incorporating technical advice from EETD researchers, as well as other institutions, can show the way.

The Guide to Purchasing Green Power is a joint product of four key agencies who are supporting the development of green power markets: the DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership, the Sustainable Enterprise Program of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the Green-e Renewable Energy Certification Program administered by the Center for Resource Solutions.

EETD's Rich Brown and Bill Golove were lead authors and coordinated the preparation of the document. Independent consultant Ed Holt also contributed to the guidebook. The authors expect it to be useful to businesses, government agencies, universities, and organizations that want to diversify their energy supply and reduce the environmental impact of their electricity use. The Guide incorporates advice from dozens of experts, including facilities and energy managers, buyers, and researchers.

"It represents a consensus of the lessons learned over the last six-plus years about the best ways to buy green power," says Brown. "The Guide is the closest thing there is to an 'official' guide from the federal government for organizations that want to buy green power."

"Most organizations are new to buying green power, but an increasing number are planning purchases in the future," says Golove. "Several key organizations recognized the need for information to help turn this interest into actual purchases. We felt it would be valuable to the market to develop a guidebook that represented consensus guidelines and collective wisdom about what's been learned in procuring green power for institutions."

The Guide answers questions about renewable energy and green power, focusing on electricity from renewable sources. It describes environmental benefits and provides organizations with guidelines on how to procure green power and understand green power product certification and verification. Finally, sections of the Guide describe how organizations can approach the development of on-site renewable power generation.

Download the guide at:

The research was funded by DOE's Federal Energy Management Program, the Environmental Protection Agency, the World Resources Institute, and the Center for Resource Solutions.

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