The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed (pdf) several changes to membership requirements to its Green Power Partnership program.
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program founded in 2001. It consists of about 1,000 commercial, nonprofit, and public organizations that have procured an amount of renewable energy that is proportional to their annual electricity use.
In exchange for their commitment, the EPA provides each member with the network of Partners, technical information, and public recognition.
Among the proposed changes, which would take effect in Feb. ’09:
- Increasing the minimum electricity purchase levels for membership and subsequently for the Green Power Leadership Club. See table:
- Requiring that members purchase all of their green power from “new” facilities (those that commenced operation after Jan. 1, 1997).
- Counting the purchase of “future REC’s” in the year they are generated, not purchased.
- For franchised or co-branded facilities, requiring public disclosure, and affirming that in the case of leased space, only the party purchasing green power can make environmental claims.
- Narrowing the window for making an initial green power purchase to six months (vs. one year) after joining the Partnership.
In October, the EPA announced that the combined efforts of the Green Power Partnership leadership awards amounted to nearly 5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, equivalent to powering more than 460,000 average American households each year.