EREN Network News
April 26, 2000
News and Events
- Clean Energy Powers Earth Day 2000
- President Issues Executive Orders on Federal Transportation
- DOE to Buy 7.5 Percent Green Power by 2010
- Postal Service Buys Green Power for California Facilities
- TVA Offers Accredited Green Power to the Southeast
- CU Boulder Students Choose Green Power
- Arizona Public Service to Double Its Solar Generation
- Toyota Announces Availability of Hybrid-Electric Prius
Energy Facts and Tips
- Alternative Technology Association
- Plan Now to Save Heating Oil Costs Next Winter
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Clean Energy Powers Earth Day 2000
Last Saturday, April 22nd, marked the 30th anniversary of
Earth Day with the celebration of Earth Day 2000. In the
United States, the highlight was EarthFair 2000, held on the
Mall in Washington, D.C. In keeping with this year's "Clean
Energy Now!" theme, the celebration's five major tented
exhibits and large multimedia stage were entirely powered
with a combination of wind, solar, natural gas, biofuels,
propane, reciprocating engines and advanced microturbines.
See the DOE press release.
Much of this week's news is related to Earth Day. For more
information about Earth Day 2000, see the Earth Day
President Issues Executive Orders on Federal Transportation
President Clinton celebrated Earth Day 2000 by issuing two
new Executive Orders relating to federal agencies and
transportation. The first Executive Order, "Greening the
Government Through Federal Fleet and Transportation
Efficiency," sets a new standard for federal vehicle fleets to
reduce their annual petroleum consumption by at least
20 percent by 2005, relative to 1999 consumption levels.
The Order suggests reducing fleet size and miles driven, but
also emphasizes the use of alternative fuels and efficient
The second Executive Order, "Federal Workforce
Transportation," mandates the creation of federal fringe-
benefit programs for federal employees to defray the costs of
using mass transportation and vanpools. The Order
establishes a "transit pass" program in the Washington,
D.C., area and orders DOE, the U.S. Department of
Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency to establish a three-year transit-pass pilot program
for all their employees nationwide before the end of the year.
The President announced the Executive Orders during his
weekly radio address. This week only, the Executive Orders
and the President's radio address can be found on the White
House Web site.
DOE to Buy 7.5 Percent Green Power by 2010
DOE marked Earth Day 2000 by committing to purchase a
portion of its electricity from green power sources, making it
the first federal agency to make such a department-wide
commitment. DOE will buy 3 percent of its total electricity
needs from non-hydro renewable energy sources by 2005,
and 7.5 percent of its electricity from green power by 2010.
See the DOE press release.
The DOE commitment follows President Clinton's Executive
Order 13123, "Greening the Government through Efficient
Energy Management." Issued in June 1999, the Order says
that "each agency shall strive to use electricity from clean,
efficient and renewable energy sources." It expands on
Executive Order 13101, "Greening the Government Through
Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition,"
issued in September 1998.
The first biennial report on the Greening of Government
project, issued on Earth Day 2000, noted that since 1985,
federal agencies have cut building energy use by more than
20 percent and have purchased alternative fueled vehicles in
record numbers. See the report on the Web site of the Office
of the Federal Environmental Executive.
DOE announced the findings and noted that the federal
energy reductions have saved taxpayers more than
$19 billion since 1985. See the DOE press release.
Postal Service Buys Green Power for California Facilities
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) also made a significant
commitment to green power for Earth Day 2000, awarding a
three-year contract to Go-Green.com, which will supply
100-percent green power to 1,000 USPS facilities in
California. The green power purchase will total more than
30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity over the next three
years, making it one of the largest purchases of green power
in the United States.
In related news, the City of Santa Barbara, California, also
signed up with Go-Green.com to power all its city buildings
with 100 percent green power. See the Go-Green.com press release.
TVA Offers Accredited Green Power to the Southeast
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) celebrated Earth Day
2000 by offering electricity from renewable energy to its
customers. TVA's new "Green Power Switch" program adds
electricity from solar energy, wind, and landfill gas to TVA's
existing power mix. TVA is working with BP Solarex to install
up to 250 kilowatts of solar generating capacity; is erecting a
3-megawatt wind plant on Buffalo Mountain in Anderson
County, Tennessee; and is negotiating to install a 6-megawatt
gas turbine at a landfill in the Tennessee Valley.
TVA is initiating the Green Power Switch as a one-year pilot
program, to be expanded if it is successful. For now, green
power is available through 11 distributors of TVA power in
six states: Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi,
Kentucky and Alabama. For more information, including the
list of green power distributors, see the TVA press release.
See the TVA Green Power Switch home page.
TVA's Green Power Switch is one of three utility-run green
power programs to receive accreditation from the non-profit
Center for Resource Solutions (CRS). Wisconsin Electric's
"Energy for Tomorrow" and Madison Gas and Electric's
"MGE Wind Power" also received accreditation last week.
CRS has administered the "Green-e" certification program
for green power marketers since 1998; until last week, there
was no equivalent for utility-run green power programs. See
the CRS press release.
CU Boulder Students Choose Green Power
The University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder became the
largest university purchaser of green power in the nation last
week, when CU Boulder students approved a $1 increase
per semester in student fees to buy wind power. The
increase in fees will raise $50,000 per year, enough to
purchase the output from an entire wind turbine 2 million
kilowatt-hours per year. The turbine will be added to the
Ponnequin wind farm, owned by Public Service Company of
Colorado. See the story on the EREN Green Power Web site.
Arizona Public Service to Double Its Solar Generation
Arizona Public Service (APS), announced on Earth Day
2000 that it would double its capacity for solar energy over
the next year. The utility plans to install 388 kilowatts of solar
energy systems at sites throughout the state. The
installations are customer-funded through its Solar Partners
program, with partial funding by DOE. See the APS press
In related news, DOE announced the award of $630,000 in
grants to state and local partnerships to help install a million
solar roofs on buildings across the nation by 2010. These
grants will be awarded to 17 entities in 13 states, including
Arizona. See the DOE press release.
Toyota Announces Availability of Hybrid-Electric Prius
Toyota announced last week that the hybrid-electric Prius
will go on sale this summer, with a manufacturer's suggested
retail price (MSRP) of $20,450. The five-passenger sedan
runs on both an all-aluminum gasoline engine and an electric
motor, achieving an estimated fuel economy rating of
52 miles per gallon in the city and 45 miles per gallon on the
highway. It also meets California's stringent Super Ultra Low
Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standard. See the Toyota press
Toyota expects to begin delivering the Prius to customers in
August and plans to sell 12,000 of the vehicles in the United
States this year. For ordering information, select "Prius
Hybrid Vehicle" on the Toyota "Future Vehicles" page.
The Sierra Club accompanied the Toyota announcement by
awarding the vehicle with its "Excellence in Environmental
Engineering" award. Previously, only Honda's hybrid-electric
Insight had received the award. See the Sierra Club press
release under "April 2000".
In related news, Honda has announced that it is boosting the
production of its Insight by more than 50 percent, to about
6,500 vehicles during the 2000 calendar year. "Consumer
interest and demand has far exceeded our expectations,"
said Tom Elliott, American Honda executive vice president.
See the Honda press release.
On a more personal note, Kevin Eber, the editor of this
newsletter, purchased his own personal Honda Insight
earlier this month. The car was recently exhibited at
Colorado Earth Day celebrations in Denver and Boulder.
Alternative Technology Association
This Australian non-profit community group seeks to use and
promote environmentally friendly technology. The site
explains of the basics of solar power, solar hot water
heating, and wind power, and features a wood heating
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Plan Now to Save Heating Oil Costs Next Winter
New Englanders are breathing a sigh of relief as this year's
heating season draws to a close, ending a period of high
heating oil costs that taxed many homeowners' budgets.
While the memory of high fuel bills is fresh in your mind,
DOE's Office of Building Technology, State and Community
Programs has a new "Heat Smart!" publication that suggests
ways to cut your use of home heating oil. A Web version of
the publication created by DOE, Brookhaven National
Laboratory, and the Petroleum Marketers Association of
America is available on the EREN Web site.
Why did heating oil costs soar so high? Has this happened
in the past? Is there any evidence of price gouging by
suppliers? For answers to these and other questions, see
the "Heating Oil Prices and Supply Information" page posted
on DOE's Office of Policy Web site.
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