Over the years, WPPI Energy members have proven they don’t have to be big to make a difference. From David and Goliath legislative victories to ownership of generation and transmission resources, they’ve accomplished some pretty big feats by working together.
In the latest example, three WPPI Energy members -- River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU), Stoughton Utilities (SU) and Waterloo Utilities (WU) -- recently received national recognition for their renewable energy leadership in 2015.
Each year, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluates utilities’ renewable or ‘green’ power programs and releases lists of the top 10 utilities in different categories.
The Green Power Participation Rate represents the percentage of customers who participated in a utility’s renewable energy programs over the past year. RFMU ranked fifth and SU ranked tenth in this category with 8.58% and 5.14% participation rates.
The Green Power Sales Rate represents the percentage of total sales that were renewable energy sales. RFMU, SU and WU ranked eighth (3.76%), tenth (2.69%), and seventh (4.37%) respectively. The revenue generated from these sales goes back into renewable energy projects.
RFMU, SU and WU share the NREL top 10 lists with large utilities such as Austin Energy, Portland General Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and PacifiCorp. These utilities’ customer bases range from tens of thousands to over one million accounts, whereas RFMU serves approximately 5,800 customers, SU 8,200 (electric), and WU 1,800.
"I'm always impressed with what our members are able to accomplish when they come together with a unified purpose," said Mike Peters, President and CEO of WPPI Energy.
Through joint action, WPPI Energy members offer voluntary renewable energy programs for their residential and business customers. The Renewable Energy Program provides utility customers with an affordable option to buy 300-kilowatt hour (kWh) blocks of energy generated from sustainable resources, such as wind, solar and biogas. Residents can choose to purchase enough blocks to cover some or all of their energy requirements each month. This reduces the amount of energy generated by coal, oil, and natural gas.
The Green Power for Business Program is a similar option for businesses to buy 300-kilowatt hour (kWh) blocks of energy generated from sustainable resources, with bulk discounts for larger purchases.
“Employees of WPPI Energy member utilities are committed to providing quality programs that reflect customers’ desire for renewable energy options. NREL’s recognition highlights the success of these programs and the joint action model that makes them possible,” said Peters.