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RNP Press Release
September 18, 2001

New Report Shows Retail Green Power Programs in the Pacific Northwest Are Growing

According to a new report released today by Renewable Northwest , the amount of "green power" sold through utility programs in the region has doubled since 2000. Approximately 47.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) are now sold through green power programs in the region per year, compared to last year’s 23.5 million kWh estimate. In addition, the number of participants in such programs doubled from 9,300 to 18,675.

Entitled "Powerful Choices II: A Survey of Retail Green Power Programs in the Pacific Northwest," the report is an update of the original survey of utility green power programs and documents the features and progress of sixteen programs being offered to customers in the region, as well as four others in the West. It was prepared by Emily Moore, graduate student at Portland State University for Renewable Northwest.
"This significant growth in green power sales in the Northwest demonstrates the strong consumer interest in clean, renewable sources of energy," said Peter West, director of Green Power Programs for Renewable Northwest. "Most encouraging is the support for green power from over 350 regional businesses," West added.
For the purposes of the report, "green power" is defined as power supplied by renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro, or by landfill gas. A "retail green power program" or "green pricing program" is a utility-run program that allows customers to choose an environmentally preferred power source directly or otherwise contribute to the development of new renewable resources.
While most of the surveyed utilities saw increases in sales and participation over the last year, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric are the two utilities that gained the most momentum, accounting for 80% of the increase. Currently, they are selling a combined 28.7 million kwh per year and representing 60% of the power sold through retail green power programs in the region.
Included in the report are profiles of each program, discussion of their key elements, and resources for learning more about green power. The report also examines how green pricing programs have evolved over the last year and responded to the recent energy crisis in the West. It also summarizes the most important elements for successful programs including: know your customers; partner with community organizations, environmental groups, and local businesses; be persistent and consistent; make commitments to further green power purchases; and maintain a positive attitude.
"Renewable Northwest hopes the examples provided in the report will encourage and inform other utilities as they undertake offering a green power choice to their customers," concluded West.
For a copy of "Powerful Choices II," contact Renewable Northwest at 917 S.W. Oak Street, Suite 303, Portland, OR, 97205. For a summary of the report, or a downloadable version of the entire report, visit (online version available 9/19/01).
A listing in the report does not imply an endorsement of the program.
Renewable Northwest is a regional, non-profit organization promoting the use of solar, wind and geothermal resources.
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For more information contact:
Rachel Shimshak, Director
Renewable Northwest Project
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