More and more organizations—from multinational corporations to small retail shops—are exploring options for using renewable electricity to power their operations and reduce their carbon footprints. But many potential purchasers face challenges, including limited availability of supply options and unfamiliarity with the often-complex green power market, price premiums, and how to accurately communicate their green power achievements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership—a leadership program for organizations buying green power—needed a way to help purchasers overcome these challenges and expand the green power market.
ERG supported EPA in developing a suite of tools and resources to help energy buyers understand the green power market, identify and evaluate potential supply options, set green power purchasing targets, and move forward with a green power purchase. ERG’s team of green power experts developed a downloadable screening tool for energy customers that helps them identify available green power supply options based on their responses to a series of questions. ERG built a searchable directory containing hundreds of useful resources and example templates for consumers to understand the issues throughout the renewable energy project development process. We also developed a video explaining renewable energy certificates, a guide detailing best practices and common mistakes in communicating green power use, and an online calculator that translates an organization’s green power purchase into more understandable metrics (e.g., “our solar energy system could power 200 homes for a year”). For organizations that express an interest, ERG experts convene a one-on-one strategy session with their energy and sustainability managers to explore renewable energy purchases, discuss procurement objectives, highlight green power options, and share best practices. ERG is proud that we have played a key role in helping EPA more than double the amount of green power purchased by EPA partners between 2017 and 2023. These purchases now total over 100 billion kilowatt-hours, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of more than 10 million average American homes.