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Blog: Over 100 Businesses Urge Congress to Continue Funding Critical Energy Efficiency Programs

By Jennifer Kefer, Vice President of David Gardiner and Associates and Executive Director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, a project of DGA. This blog post originally appeared in Breaking Energy.

The President’s budget template, which slashes the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 32% and eliminates voluntary programs, including the agency’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership and the ENERGY STAR program, has drawn wide criticism from businesses across the country.

Businesses are speaking out on behalf of the CHP Partnership. More than 100 companies signed on to a stakeholder letter urging Congress to continue to fund the partnership. The program currently benefits 389 partners – including many businesses, developers, and state and local governments – and helps its partners navigate complex technical and financial issues associated with CHP.

The CHP Partnership is a perfect example of how the federal government, in partnership with the private sector, can catalyze investments in energy efficiency. The program is extremely cost-effective and has a proven track record of success, working to promote more efficient power generation.The CHP Partnership increases U.S. competitiveness, enhances the resiliency of our energy infrastructure, and lowers emissions through promoting and facilitating the deployment of CHP.

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DGA Launches Customer Revolution Monthly: A Renewable Energy Policy and Market Action Alert Newsletter

Large institutional buyers are changing the energy landscape as we know it. David Gardiner and Associates is launching the Customer Revolution Monthly to identify and analyze the policy and market trends that define this historic change. In the last five years, Fortune 500 companies and other large institutions, such as the military and colleges and universities, have begun to transform electricity markets by ramping up their purchases of renewable energy. In 2015, for the first time ever, these non-utility buyers bought more than 50% of the wind energy on the market.

Interested in learning more? Read the first edition of our newsletter: Customer Revolution Monthly April 2017

Subscribe to Customer Revolution Monthly and follow the latest corporate renewable news @CustomerREVO.

Blog: Industrial Energy Efficiency Would Make American Manufacturing More Competitive

By: Jennifer Kefer, Vice President of David Gardiner and Associates and Executive Director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency

President Trump has vowed to make American companies and manufacturing stronger and more competitive. However, on March 28, the President signed an executive order, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” beginning the process of rolling back the Clean Power Plan. While the executive order is explicitly intended to promote economic growth, it misses a significant opportunity to do so by making American manufacturers more competitive.

Energy efficiency is the secret weapon that can make President Trump’s promise to make American manufacturing more competitive a reality, while also cutting carbon emissions. In fact, energy efficiency already supports 2.2 million jobs nationwide, including thousands of jobs in each and every state in America. What’s more, since energy use in the manufacturing sector accounts for roughly 24 percent of all U.S. energy consumption (the industrial sector as a whole accounted for 32% of all energy consumption), the opportunity for savings is large. Read more

Seven Companies Deliver Letter to the Missouri Legislature Expressing Support for H.B. 439, the Missouri Energy Freedom Act

In February, seven major companies delivered a letter to the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate expressing their support for H.B. 439, the Missouri Energy Freedom Act, which would allow third party power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy. PPAs allow companies to procure renewable energy without making major capital expenditures up front or taking on the risk associated with operating and maintaining a power generation system. The companies emphasized the importance of having choice when selecting energy suppliers and products to meet their business and public goals. Read the letter here.

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Vice President Ryan Hodum Joins Large Businesses and Free Market Think Tank to Discuss Customer Choice Policy with Missouri Legislators

Last week, DGA Vice President Ryan Hodum – along with a team from Wal-mart, General Motors, and the R Street Institute – met with Missouri lawmakers to discuss the broad support for renewable energy and customer choice policy in the state. PPAs are contracts between an energy consumer (like a factory) and a provider (in this case a renewable energy supplier). The renewable energy can be either onsite or offsite and is owned and operated by the energy provider.

Since PPAs allow companies to enter into contracts for renewable energy with non-utility energy service providers, they can enable competition without undercutting the business of incumbent electric power suppliers. Currently, Missouri’s policies are restrictive for companies trying to enter into PPAs with renewable energy providers. However, Missouri has the opportunity to join the many states – such as Utah, Texas, Georgia, and Iowa – that already enable energy choice. Representative Bill Kidd (R-20) introduced House Bill 439, the Missouri Energy Freedom Act, which would enable onsite and offsite third party PPAs for renewable energy and has already received wide support from Missouri companies, energy developers, and the United States Army.

Blog: Current Trends in Renewable Energy News

February was a big month for renewable energy. Several exciting new reports were released that demonstrate that renewable energy is increasingly in demand from large businesses and other large energy buyers, and is a significant source of job growth:

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DGA’s Top 5 Emerging Climate and Sustainability Trends

In the early stages of the Trump administration, DGA has identified these top five emerging climate and sustainability trends which we will be watching in 2017.

The Manufacturing Sector: Clean Energy and Competitiveness

As President Trump calls for making America’s manufacturing more competitive, clean energy represents a significant opportunity to do just that. The Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, a project of DGA, released a report last year which found that industrial efficiency could save manufacturers and other businesses $298 billion in energy costs while reducing carbon emissions by an amount equal to 46 coal-fired power plants. Many leading American companies already recognize these benefits: manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, Raytheon and Whirlpool have pledged to cut energy use 25 percent, while others, such as GM, Mars and Procter & Gamble, have committed to increase their use of clean renewable energy.

Fortune 500 Companies: States Must Make Renewable Energy an Economic Development Issue

In the last five years, Fortune 500 companies and other large institutions, such as the military and colleges and universities, have begun to transform electricity markets by ramping up their purchases of renewable energy. In 2015, for the first time ever, these non-utility buyers bought more than 50% of the wind energy on the market. And now, these large customers are urging states to make it easier for them to buy renewable energy. Two leading trade associations, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), ranked all 50 states on the customer friendliness of the renewables markets and concluded that states that enable investment in clean domestic energy production are most likely to attract America’s largest job-creating businesses.

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DGA Sends Letters About Large Customer Demand for Renewable Energy in North Carolina

Today, DGA sent letters to North Carolina Governor Cooper and Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Regan detailing the growing corporate demand for clean, cost-effective sources of energy in North Carolina and across the U.S. Access to renewable energy choices is key to meet the needs of companies with operations in North Carolina and to attract more businesses to the state. You can read our letter to Governor Cooper here and Secretary Regan here.

Groundbreaking Study: States that Enable Customer Choice of Clean Energy Attracting Job-Creating Businesses

David Gardiner and Associates contributed to a groundbreaking study released today that ranks all 50 states based on the ease with which companies in the retail and information technology sectors can procure renewable energy and urges state governments to promote customer choice of renewable energy. The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, released by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry (ITI), concludes that states that enable investment in clean domestic energy production are most likely to attract America’s largest job-creating businesses.

The report focuses on state renewable energy policy and the critical role that access to low-cost renewable energy can play as part of any state economic development strategy. The report notes that “the structure of a state’s electricity market can directly influence where corporations choose to invest in renewable energy projects, and in which states they decide to expand their operational footprint.”

Retail and tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Wal-Mart are among nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies seeking to locate operations in states with clean energy production due to fossil fuel price volatility and pollution concerns. Read more

18 of the Largest Electricity Consumers in Virginia Called on the Commonwealth to Expand Renewable Energy Choices

A group of 18 major corporations, including big names such as Microsoft, Walmart, Best Buy, Ikea, Staples and Mars Inc., among others, sent a letter to state lawmakers and the Virginia State Corporation Commission calling for “an explicit legal framework” to expand access to renewable energy from utilities and third-party sellers. Read more about the letter in this article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.