News Releases from Region 07
Maplewood, Mo., Community Receives EPA Green Power Community of the Year Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 17, 2016) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present the community of Maplewood, Mo., with the EPA Green Power Community of the Year Award today. The 16th Annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing 16 Green Power Partners across the country, will be presented today at the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, Calif.
The Maplewood community is being recognized for their efforts in expanding the domestic renewable energy market. The community’s support of green power increased by more than 300 percent, resulting in more than 5 percent of the total community-wide electricity use last year.
In 2013, with funding and staff support from the U.S. Green Building Council, Maplewood’s Sustainability Commission and city government undertook a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory of the city, as a first step in developing its GHG emissions reduction action plan.
Two years later, the commission and city launched the Maplewood Green Power Community Challenge. The challenge’s goal was to motivate collective action of local government, businesses, and citizens to reduce the community’s carbon footprint by installing solar or purchasing renewable energy certificates to become an EPA Green Power Community.
Maplewood embraced the challenge and nearly doubled its original goal of collectively supporting 3 percent green power. The community’s increase in renewable, certificate-based green power of more than 300 percent during the challenge resulted in a community-wide use of more than 6 million kilowatt-hours annually.
Led by the city government and the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District, the number of community members using green power increased from 49 to 246, with 15 Maplewood businesses enrolling in the Green Power Partnership.
Maplewood became an EPA Green Power Community in 2015. By September 2015, Maplewood’s green power support had reached more than 5 percent of the community’s total electricity use. The city achieved this Green Power Community distinction in just five months.
From using enough green power to meet 100 percent of electricity needs to signing long-term contracts to enable new renewable energy projects, the 16 organizations honored are demonstrating leadership by furthering the case for accessible, affordable green power use.
“Green power is becoming more affordable and mainstream because of leaders like the Green Power Leadership Award winners,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “I commend the work they do to grow the renewable energy market and spur innovation, and as we continue to act on climate, I encourage them to continue to set a high bar for others to achieve.”
EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that goes above and beyond regulatory requirements and encourages organizations to use green power as a way to help reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. EPA defines green power as electricity that is generated from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydroelectric sources. Green power does not produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Renewable energy production continues to increase substantially in the United States. Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold, and solar technology continues to become more affordable as this trend continues. In 2015, the United States also remained the second-leading market in terms of cumulative wind energy capacity, and was the leading country in wind power production.
From installing green power on-site to innovative purchasing, these award winners are helping lead the way in advancing the green power market. The awardees were selected based on a multitude of criteria, including the size and scale of their green power use, leadership and innovation in purchasing and generating green power, internal and external communications efforts, as well as organizational strategy for investing in green power.
For a full list of the 2016 Green Power Leadership Award winners, visit EPA’s website.
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Learn more about Maplewood’s community efforts (see “Green Power Community of the Year”)
Learn more about EPA’s Green Power Partnership
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