Rocky Mountain Power earned national recognition Monday for its ongoing, decade-long commitment to promote renewable energy. The electric utility won for Best Marketing Campaign as part of the 2013 Green Power Leadership Awards sponsored by the Center for Resource Solutions and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Rocky Mountain Power, along with Pacific Power, is part of PacifiCorp, which serves nearly 1.8 million customers in six western states. The Blue Sky program provides an easy and convenient way for customers to support renewable energy at a level that best suits them. More than 92,000 customers have chosen to participate in Blue Sky, making it one of the nation's most successful voluntary renewable energy programs.
The Best Marketing Campaign by a Green Power Supplier is a national award recognizing an innovative outreach plan by a green power supplier. It was presented Sept. 23 at a ceremony during the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets conference in Austin, Texas. PacifiCorp was recognized for its efforts in rolling out a campaign to educate customers about renewable energy through the company's call centers.
"We are very proud of this award because it really speaks to the dedication of our call center employees," said Karen Gilmore, vice president of customer service. "Letting our customers know about the convenience and the benefits of Blue Sky renewable energy has been a priority of ours for a long time. Our call centers in Portland and Salt Lake City put together a tremendous plan to remind customers about Blue Sky in the normal course of our daily calls. When people learn about Blue Sky, they want to participate; it is that simple."
The call centers' Blue Sky campaign has markedly increased enrollments. Leveraging the expertise of more than 260 customer service employees, the call centers enrolled more than 12,000 customers in 2012 and approximately 30,000 customers since launching the ongoing initiative in July 2011.
"We're proud to recognize Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power's exceptional success in their reaching out to customers and giving them the information they need to support renewable energy through their certified Blue Sky program," said Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Center for Resource Solutions.
Powdr announced Monday that it also received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the EPA. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier. Powdr is buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Renewable Choice Energy.
"As one of the leading mountain resort owner and operators in North America, energy is a key resource in the operation of our business," said Brent Giles, chief sustainability officer for Powdr. "The development and support of renewable energy is extremely important for us to preserve and enhance the mountain lifestyle for generations to come. We are honored to be recognized by the EPA for our efforts to offset 100 percent of our company-wide electricity use with the purchase of green power. Powdr is passionate about the mountains in which we live, work and play."
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power accelerates the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
"EPA is pleased to recognize Powdr with a Green Power Purchasing award for its exceptional commitment to buying green power and reducing carbon pollution associated with its electricity use," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "In doing so, Powdr has demonstrated leadership in innovation, sustainability, and taking action on climate change."
According to the EPA, Powdr's current green power purchase of 80 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 12,000 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power nearly more than 8,000 average American homes annually.
For more information about the awards, visit the Green Power Leadership Awards website at www.renewableenergymarkets.com/awards .