Energy | Green Power Partnerships

I like to support organizations which are doing something positive for the environment. Running a business, school, or a community requires a lot of electric energy. Today, organizations and citizens have some options available for sources of Clean Energy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers Green Power Partnerships.  More than 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily use billions of kilowatt-hours (kW-hr) of green energy annually.

Green Power products are defined by the EPA as a subset of renewable energy. Typical renewable includes sources such as solar, wind, biogas, biomass, hydro and thermal. Green Power produces no fossil fuel based impact and are built within the past 15 years.

EPA

The 1300 partner list is quite long. You can view it at this link. The default sort is alphabetical. You can sort on each column by clicking on the heading. A second click reverses the sort order.

There is also a page with top partner listings that are shorter. You can view the sets at this link. Most of these lists are listed in descending order by kW-hr supplied.

See if your community is listed. Maybe your school district or university is present. Many retailers are listed. It is an interesting resource.

What is a kW-hr?

The kW-hr is a unit of energy. It is a large unit suitable for the large amounts of energy involved in our electrically driven economy. The calorie is another unit of energy suitable for small quantities. A calorie of energy can raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1˚C. A gram of water is the size of 20 average drops or the end of your little finger that includes your nail. Food nutritionists group calories by the thousands into the Calorie with a capital C. A pint of Guinness gives you 170 Calories or 170,000 calories. The 3 units compared:

1 kW-hr = 860,400 calories = 860.4 Calories

The average electrical energy use for my house is 420 kW-hr over the past several years.

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20 thoughts on “Energy | Green Power Partnerships

  1. “The kW-hr is a unit of energy. The calorie is another unit of energy suitable for small quantities. A calorie of energy can raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1˚C. A gram of water is the size of 20 average drops or the end of your little finger that includes your nail. Food nutritionists group calories by the thousands into the Calorie with a capital C. A pint of Guinness gives you 170 Calories or 170,000 calories. The 3 units compared:” Amazing, I didn’t know that. Your blog is so enlightning. When I think of Green Power relationships, I also wonder whether the damage to the planet is actually irreversible Jim. With human population increases, how can we actually reverse the damage from the deforestation that has already been done? Human population increases?

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    • Yes it is about half or less. We have two adults only. The house was built 12 yrs ago with 6″ walls and lots of insulation in them and the attic. We get some sun in the south and west windows. Lots of CFL in use for work areas. We are considering installation of PV panels on the south roof.

      We are happy with the small footprint.

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    • Take a look at the reply to Debra. 🙂

      Being a proud geek, I’ve charted the monthly elec usage from the bills for about 8 yrs. Each month and the running monthly average show big seasonal ups and downs. There was a noticeable dip when we got a lot of CFL bulbs in use.

      Plus…we have gas utility for hot water and cooking.

      Long time ago, I surveyed the kids in my physics class about the household electric energy use in their homes. They brought a bill in so we could compare. One kid had a 6000 kW-hr bill for their family in one month. Big family, heated pool, all electric utilities. I was astounded.

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      • Well done! To be honest my energy consumption is something I rarely think about. That’s probably because of my lifestyle. I don’t own a vehicle, use public transportation by choice. Because I move around a lot I don’t own a home, I rent a room in someone’s home in whatever city I happen to be in, sharing their utilities. And again because of my transient lifestyle, and that everything I own MUST fit in one backpack, I’m not a big consumer of ‘stuff’. I did, a few years back, spend a year living off-grid, and found it fascinating learning about solar energy, everything from making the solar panels themselves to regulating the use of the energy once it was stored in the batteries. Having enough power to have an occasional ‘movie night’ was a HUGE deal! 🙂

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    • We do the normal things, easy things. Those Jim mentioned. Also we turn off lights when we’re done with them, unplug the iron when I leave the room for a while, (I iron a lot with my quilting), use ceiling fans in the summer and some in the winter. Also as he said we have gas for hot water, heat, and cooking. But even there we are careful. We turn down the water heat if we’ll be gone for more than a day or two, use the crock pot rather than long roasting times in the oven, have programmable thermostat… Like I said, all the normal things. We are comfortable, not Spartan. But we’re also careful.

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    • Certainly there are always trade-offs when resources are consumed differently. But this isn’t a “fair and balanced” discussion. Green energy on the whole is better for the long-term health of the planet.

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  2. The average electrical energy use for my house is 420 kW-hr over the past several years.

    I assume that is the monthly average. That is remarkably good. Our 2,400 sq. foot house also has extra insulation and also has natural-gas heat, but our electric bill runs between 600 and 700 KW-hrs. We do run the dishwasher and the clothes washer/dryer quite a bit. I occasionally see the wife running hot water down the kitchen drain – some battles are not worth the ultimate price. 😉

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    • Monthly average…yes.

      I don’t think one needs to be compulsive about energy conservation. We need to be reasonable and do more common sense things. I’ve read in several places that the greatest amount of energy conservation would come, not from new technologies, but from improvements in personal behaviors and in efficiencies of existing technologies.

      Some battles are not worth the ultimate price…you are a wise man.

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  3. This is great, Jim! Thank you for the links. Sometimes we get fliers in the mail suggesting we switch energy carriers, but a lot of the time it sounds like a scam. Now I am armed with facts. One day I would love to install solar panels and batteries but you are right. In the meantime, we keep lights off, the temperature on the cool side in winter, stuff like that. No sense making ourselves crazy 🙂

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