Believe it or not, clean energy is on the rise with corporations across the nation. Well, actually, believe it. Utility companies have recognized in the past five years that corporations are in need of large amounts of power. With green energy tracking upward in favorability among executives, now seen as a fundamental solution to cut energy costs, utility companies have responded with green tariffs – measures for corporations to purchase green energy from the existing grid.
Our friends at World Resource Institute (WRI) analyzed recent trends to better understand how utilities have become a major focus in providing corporations with the necessary energy to function at the least amount of power used. These trends, represented in the following graphics, are essential to better understanding your decision to move forward with an energy efficiency upgrade.
1. Wind And Solar
Without a doubt, the two key renewable resources expected to make waves over the next decade are wind and solar energies. Markets where these energies have already become affordable options have incentivized utility companies to invest in renewable energy and increase production of wind and solar options.
Where fossil fuels are subject to economic fluctuations and price changes, renewable options have seen steady price decreases and sustainable production. Utility companies understand the benefits of “going green” for their customers, and now coupled with expected lower lifetime costs per megawatt-hour, can provide options based on the amount of energy needed for a facility.
According to WRI, “Mid-American, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary, has talked about its extensive investments in wind in the same way — as an effective way to keep prices low for customers. The company also used its wind investments to serve the renewable energy requirements of major data centers, such as Facebook and Google.”
2. Demand for Renewable Energy
Demand for renewable energy is through the roof – literally. Fortune 500 companies have hit a record level of active clean energy initiatives and goals. Utilities are now being forced to respond to these demands for renewable energy from multinational and national corporations. Companies seeking clean energy technology are finding in order to progress toward 100% green energy use, they are only able to generate a minimal amount of power independently and require substantial renewable energy from the grid.
These demands have been communicated through the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, a detailed account by 65 industry-leading corporations of what multinational businesses expect when purchasing renewable energy from the grid. Utilities are eager to capture this business and are working with both green tariffs and state mandates where available, as well as considering alternative options where they are not. According to president of Appalachian Power Chris Beam, “at the end of the day, West Virginia may not require us to be clean, but our customers are […] we have to be mindful of what our customers want.”
3. Green Tariffs
Large corporations are leading the way for renewable energy to advance and become readily available on the grid. To meet this increased customer demand, traditional utilities have developed green tariffs that decrease the cost of renewable energy purchased by large companies. These green tariffs – there are currently 13 available across 10 states – are essential to developing competitive green energy pricing for high-growth corporate business. In addition, three more green tariff options have been implemented in the past six months, one the first option offered by a public power company.
4. Impact of Green Tariffs
Green tariffs, where available, have already become a very popular option among corporations looking to make immediate changes to their existing energy structure and transition to green energy. According to Green Biz statistics, “To date, customers have contracted for approximately 900 MW of new renewable energy under 5 of the tariffs. This is approximately enough electricity to power 160,000 average American homes a year. This past Spring, utilities and customers have begun negotiating additional purchases with announcements from Puget Sound Energy and Omaha Public Power District demonstrating utility buyers are ready and willing to form partnerships.
5. Stay Up-To-Date
The “U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide For Corporate Buyers” is a terrific resource for corporations looking to stay up-to-date on the most current green tariff and utility information in their area. The map highlights each tariff offered across the nation as well as special contracts and agreements that indicate a utility is willing to work with local businesses despite the lack of a tariff.
Green energy is essential to the future of our planet and it is large corporations making it possible to decrease the price of renewable energy and implement initiatives on a larger scale. “Going green” can be as simple as finding where clean energy technology fits into our business model. With available tariffs, rebates, and utility incentive programs growing throughout the United States, corporations and buyers now have the ideal platform to push 100% energy efficiency within their company.
To view full map, click here.
Source: World Resource Institute