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November 16, 2011

Environmental Protection Agency Honors the District with Its Green Power Community of the Year Award 

National Award Recognizes D.C. As No. 1 in the United States for Green Power Purchasing

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WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded its 2011 Green Power Leadership Award to the District of Columbia, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) reports today. The annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for their commitment to advancing the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. EPA presented the District with the Green Power Community of the Year award today, Wednesday, November 16, 2011, in conjunction with the 2011 Renewable Energy Markets Conference being held in San Francisco.

The District is one of only two communities nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for the collective green power purchases by residents, institutions, businesses, and local government. The D.C. community is currently using more than 772 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 8 percent of the community’s electricity use. Green Power Communities (GPCs) distinguish themselves through their green power usage, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy and impact on the green power market. Washington is the largest GPC in the country.

“We are proud to receive this prestigious award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray. “The purchase of green power by our citizens and businesses helps our community become more sustainable, while also sending a message to other communities across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk and promoting energy independence and reliability.”

Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Purchases of green power help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the power sector.

“EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award winners are driving the development of new renewable energy sources and demonstrating that green power makes good environmental and business sense,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “We applaud Washington, D.C.’s efforts and hope that other communities follow their lead.”
According to the EPA, the D.C. community's green power purchase of more than 772 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 104,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 66,000 average American homes annually.

The Green Power Leadership Award goes hand-in-hand with Mayor Gray’s effort to make the District a more sustainable city. “The District of Columbia aims to be the nation’s leader, not only in green power purchasing, but a model for urban sustainability,” says Christophe A.G. Tulou, Director of DDOE. “Mayor Gray launched a comprehensive ‘Sustainable D.C.’ initiative to define an aggressive leadership agenda in the areas of energy, climate, water, nature, waste, transportation, food, the built environment, and the green economy. We are confident that, under his leadership, and with the full participation of our residents, institutions and businesses, we will reach that goal.”

Washington, D.C. as a Green Power Community

Washington, D.C. was designated an EPA Green Power Community in 2011, setting an example of national leadership in the effort to transform the nation's energy sources to clean renewable energy. With more than 772 million kWh of green power used annually by District residents, businesses, institutions and government entities, the District is the largest Green Power Community in the country. Collectively, green power supplies more than 8 percent of total electricity used in the District. Upon achieving EPA Green Power Community status, the District of Columbia immediately set a new target of increasing usage to 10 percent green power, and efforts are underway to promote green power usage citywide. For more information, visit http://www.green.dc.gov/greenpower.

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium-sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.

About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year, On-site Generation, Green Power Purchasing, and Green Power Community of the Year. EPA’s Purchaser awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.