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Why Buy Green Power?

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Federal Requirements

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

In December 2007, Congress and former President George W. Bush established aggressive new requirements for federal energy management with the signing of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA is a comprehensive energy bill that includes numerous provisions designed to improve energy and water efficiency and stimulate the use of renewable energy among federal agencies. While EISA does not contain specific green power purchase requirements for federal agencies, Section 523 requires that agencies meet 30 percent of their hot water demand for each new building or major renovation through the use of solar hot water heaters.

Executive Order 13423

The U.S. Department of Energy published final renewable energy guidance for Executive Order (EO) 13423 in January 2008. EO 13423 requires that 50 percent of current renewable energy purchases come from new renewable sources—sources that have been developed after January 1, 1999. While the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) set renewable energy goals, EO 13423 is the first federal mandate to require agencies to purchase a certain percentage of new renewable energy.

During FY 2007, agencies continued to receive credit toward their energy reduction goal from purchases of qualified electric and non-electric renewable energy sources. From FY 2008 through FY 2011, the credit will gradually be reduced to zero. Purchases of renewable energy or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) may only contribute up to 60 percent of the annual energy reduction goal for FY 2008, and will gradually be reduced to zero by FY 2012. Long-term REC purchases of 10 years or more of renewable energy that contribute to the development of new renewable energy resources could only contribute up to 80 percent of the annual energy reduction goal for FY 2008 and will gradually be reduced to zero in FY 2012.

The phase out for counting renewable energy and REC purchases toward energy intensity goals does not impact how agencies count these purchases toward renewable energy goals.

Learn more about EPA's EO 13423 energy and water reduction and renewable energy reduction requirements.

EPAct 2005

Signed into law on August 8, 2005 , EPAct 2005 dictates the following:

Learn more about EPA's EPAct 2005 energy reduction requirements.

EO 13123:

Superseded by EO 13423, EO 13123's renewable energy requirements focused on installation of solar units:


Through EPA's green power purchasing, the Agency has made several important commitments to ensure that it leads by example and shares its experience. EPA's outreach efforts related to the Agency's green purchasing serve to:

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