Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moab at risk to lose EPA Green Power status, officials say

Moab is at risk of losing its hard-earned status as an EPA Green Power Community if the percentage of renewable energy purchased by government agencies, businesses and private residences does not increase by the end of June. Currently, 2.83 percent of the electricity that powers commercial and residential properties community wide comes from renewable energy sources such as wind and geothermal, but that percentage must increase to 3 percent in order for Moab – the first EPA Green Power Community in the U.S. – to remain an EPA green power partner, Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison said this week.

According to the city’s website, by last calculations the community was at 4 percent wind power with 14 percent of residents and businesses participating in the program.

According to Blaine Collison, director of the EPA’s Green Power Program, five out of 33 communities have currently fallen just below their required percentages. He said that all partners can retain their designation if they increase their percentages by their annual updates.

Currently, the program boasts Portland, Ore. as its biggest community partner.“To be able to engage that size load and that many stakeholders, I think, is a pretty good sign,” he said. Collison added that Moab has a very special place within the partnership because it was the first in the nation to accomplish the Green Power status.“My counsel to Moab would be to take a look around at what the other communities across the U.S. have done to leverage Moab’s early leadership,” he said. “Let’s see a little leapfrogging here. It would be great to see Moab come up the curve a little bit and take its place back at the top of the percentage.” Read more: Moab Times-Independent - Moab at risk to lose EPA Green Power status officials say