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Oak Ridge Becomes Southeast’s First Green Power Community

Release Date: 07/14/2014
Contact Information: Jason McDonald, (404) 562-9203, mcdonald.jason@epa.gov

ATLANTA – On Monday, the City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee becomes the newest member of EPA’s national Green Power Communities initiative. Oak Ridge becomes the first city in the Southeast to take part in the national initiative.

“We applaud the City of Oak Ridge for increasing their use of clean and renewable energy sources,” said Beverly Banister, Director of the Air, Pesticides, and Toxics Management Division at the EPA Southeast regional office in Atlanta. “This is a great example of a community working together to help ensure a cleaner environment for us all.

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 purchased electricity use. To be designated as a Green Power Community a local government must purchase or produce green power in amounts that meet EPA minimum purchase requirements set by community electricity usage.

Green power is defined as electricity generated from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydropower. The local government must also initiate a community-wide green power campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to buy green power.

To meet this requirement, the City of Oak Ridge Electric Department relied on a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and its Green Power Switch program, which offers consumers and businesses the opportunity to purchase 150-kilowatt-hour blocks of renewable energy. “The community’s enthusiasm for the program was infectious and generated more than 300 new Green Power Switch enrollments – more than triple the original goal,” said Rob Manning, TVA Executive Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer. “It was an honor to play a role in their efforts.”

Oak Ridge will join over 30 cities and towns across the U.S. who collectively use more than six billion kilowatt hours of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from the electricity use of more than 636,000 average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower – environmentally-preferable resources that produce no net increase of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The Honorable Tom Beehan, Mayor of the City of Oak Ridge, will make the announcement during the Oak Ridge City Council meeting at 7:00 pm. Mayor Beehan will be joined by Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, City of Oak Ridge, and Rob Manning, Executive Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer Tennessee Valley Authority.



More information on EPA’s Green Power Communities: www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities
More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program: www.epa.gov/greenpower