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RNP Press Release
November 14, 2011

Record Number of Northwest Consumers Chose Green Power Amid Recession

Portland, Ore. (November 14, 2011)— As national leaders in green power convene for the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, Renewable Northwest - a leading advocate for renewable energy - released its eleventh annual report on retail green power programs in the Northwest. The report indicates that customer participation in voluntary green power programs increased 8.5% in 2010, demonstrating a continued trend of growing consumer preference for renewable energy, despite sustained recession conditions.

“The report’s findings are significant: Northwest energy customers continue to care about clean energy and are increasingly choosing renewable options,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at Renewable Northwest. “While consumer purchasing decisions continue to be shaped by a tough economy, we are pleased to announce that more Northwest customers than ever before chose green power last year,” Shimshak added. 

Entitled “Powerful Choices XI,” the report was derived from data gathered through a survey of 40 voluntary green power programs spanning Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. It found that over 10,000 additional customers signed up for green power in 2010, bringing the total number of ratepayers in the Northwest who voluntarily participate in green power programs to over 177,000. They purchased more than 1.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green power. This equates to enough energy to power over 142,700 Northwest homes for one year and environmental benefits that saved over 2.2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted by traditional fossil fuel power sources. While green power sales declined slightly, this outcome was expected; decreased energy usage is typical of economic downturn.

Since Renewable Northwest released its first “Powerful Choices” report in 2000, it has found substantial annual increases in customers opting into utility green power programs. 

“We thank customer participants for showing their support for clean energy and for helping our utilities lead the nation with their award-winning green power programs,” said Shimshak. “We look forward to the day where new renewable resources outweigh fossil fuels in our energy mix.” 

The Powerful Choices report was timed with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference, a national forum for energy stakeholders to address best practices for promoting renewable energy, which will occur in San Francisco from November 15–18, 2011. To view the report, visit:


Renewable Northwest is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of renewable energy resources in the Northwest. 



For more information contact:

Erin Greeson, Communications Manager


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