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RNP Press Release
October 19, 2010

Northwest Consumers Drove Record Green Power Purchases Amid Recession

Report Demonstrates Significant Growth in Utility Voluntary Green Energy Programs

Portland, Ore. (October 19, 2010)— As national leaders in green power convene for the Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Renewable Northwest Project - a leading advocate for renewable energy - released its tenth annual report on retail green power programs in the Northwest. Entitled “Powerful Choices X,” the report indicates that customer participation in voluntary green power programs increased 5.8% in 2009, demonstrating a continued trend of increasing demand for renewable energy, despite recession conditions.
 
“The report speaks loud and clear: Northwest energy customers care about clean energy and are increasingly choosing renewable options,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive director at Renewable Northwest Project. “While purchases of other consumer goods declined amid the tough economic climate, more customers than ever before chose green power in our region last year,” Shimshak added.
 
The report was derived from data gathered through a survey of the 40 voluntary green power programs spanning Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. It found that an additional 9,200 customers signed up for green power in 2009, bringing the total number of ratepayers in the Northwest who voluntarily participate in green power programs to nearly 170,000. They purchased more than 1.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green power, an 8.6% increase over 2008 levels. This equates to enough energy to power 144,460 Northwest homes for one year and environmental benefits that saved 2.29 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted by traditional fossil fuel power sources.
 
Since Renewable Northwest Project released its first “Powerful Choices” report in 2000, it has found substantial annual increases in customers opting into utility green power programs. In 2009, Northwest customers demanded more than 70 times the amount of renewable energy purchased through green power programs in 2000. The Northwest houses the leading voluntary green power programs in the U.S.
 
“Northwest customers are showing their growing support for clean energy through these programs, said Shimshak. “We applaud our utilities and their marketing partners for making renewable power options available and affordable, and we look forward to the tipping point where clean energy becomes the norm.”
 
The Powerful Choices report was timed with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference, a national forum for energy stakeholders to address best practices for promoting renewable energy, which will occur in Portland from October 19–22, 2010. To view the report, visit: http://rnp.org/node/powerful-choices
 
Renewable Northwest Project is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of renewable energy resources in the Northwest.
 
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For more information contact:
Erin Greeson, Communications Manager
Renewable Northwest Project
503-223-4544
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