The announcement of our innovative solutions grant program seems to have sparked renewed discussion among our partners about the actions that visitors can take to help conserve the ocean. One particularly hot option, no pun intended, is to ask visitors to choose green power as this not only helps the ocean and its animals by reducing the pollution associated with climate change and ocean acidification, but it is much easier for visitors to do than one might imagine. This is especially true when it comes to encouraging the purchase of renewable energy certificates, which can be purchased with a quick click.
Each of these certificates is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity generated from an eligible renewable energy resource like solar or wind. Conveniently, 1,000 kWh is near the average monthly use of a typical American home. So a visitor who buys through a visitor engagement program can claim to be using green power for 100% of his/her home electricity usage. It’s a simple process, does not involve any change in utility provider and often serves as the first step in a deeper commitment to renewables (e.g., installing solar panels on their roof). For more on RECs, visit the EPA's Green Power Partnership website.
Recently, The Ocean Project partnered with Greenlight Energy to help our partners both obtain and promote renewable energy.
- For ZAMs that want to purchase RECs to help them meet their sustainability goals, Greenlight is now offering our partners low-cost (In some cases 20x LESS than what local utilities were charging!), Green-e certified RECs. Both the product and the volume purchased are determined by the partner, providing flexibility with any budget, and, not to be forgotten, REC purchases qualify for recognition in the EPA Green Power Partnership.
- Beyond helping ZAMs green their operations, Greenlight has developed the foundation on which partners can create customized visitor engagement programs. Designed to enable visitors to take direct action and make a difference by buying renewable energy, it also includes a give back component in the form of a “Watt for Watt” option and/or earning 10% of the total program proceeds.
- Note that this is a 'turn-key' visitor engagement program available to all partners! Visitors will be able to, for example, simply text a code and receive a link to enroll in a recurring green power program without ever leaving your site. Greenlight manages all billing, customer service and contractual fulfillment, and can provide a Welcome Kit for each enrollee per partner preference.
Please don't hesitate to contact Kelly Bennett of Greenlight for more!
In addition to the promise in promoting RECs, other options are also being explored by partners as ways to get their visitors to support green power. These include linking visitors to utility-sponsored programs, connecting them to information on solar installation, and, last but not least, generating support for "community choice aggregation" efforts, which we love as, in essence, "community choice aggregation" is a long-winded way of saying a city is going to green power on behalf of all of its citizens.