Green Power Partnership
Buying Green Power
Questions to Consider
Determine your organization’s objectives and goals before buying green power. Answer the following questions:
- Why is your organization buying green power?
- What does your organization seek to gain from the purchase?
- What criteria are important in selecting the product or resource mix of your purchase?
- Is green power product certification and verification important to your organization?
As you consider whether a green power purchase will help fulfill your organization’s goals, the following list will assist you in identifying some of the major steps involved in buying green power:
- Identify your key decisionmaker(s) – A key decisionmaker can play an important role in buying green power. Key decisionmakers can be the CEO, mayor, or someone else who has the ability to take action. This step is especially critical for larger organizations.
- Gather your energy data – Estimate your organization’s purchased electricity use by using your recent electricity bills or by using a per-square-foot estimate. For additional information on estimating your electricity use, please review the Partnership Requirements (PDF) (19 pp, 520K, About PDF)
- Determine your purchase scope – Some organizations find that buying green power for a facility, or group of facilities, is the most logical place to start. Your purchase scope (facility vs. organization-wide) might influence the type of product you choose.
- Evaluate product options – There are three eligible product options to choose from when meeting EPA’s purchase requirements. In some cases, not all products will be available in your area. The Green Power Locator can assist you in identifying green power providers near you.
- Develop purchase criteria – It is helpful to develop a list of criteria when evaluating provider and product options. Criteria can be based on such factors as budget, resource geography, resource base, carbon benefit, or contract type or length.
- Solicit product providers – Contact multiple providers to determine the going market rate for green power products. Many providers of green power offer add-on services outside of their primary green power offering.
- Develop a procurement or project plan – By developing a procurement or project plan, you can better assess the value of buying green power, assess potential issues, and help convince others in your organization.
- Buy green power – When buying green power, ensure that your contract conveys the rights to make environmental claims. For the purpose of partnering with EPA, you should also ensure that your purchase meets EPA’s partnership requirements (PDF) (19 pp, 690K, About PDF).
- Work with EPA to capture the benefits of your purchase – As a Partner, your organization can receive EPA support in making purchase announcements. Partners can receive press release assistance, environmental equivalency statements, and use EPA’s Green Power Partner mark on Web sites and communications materials.
The green power purchase process and other helpful information is also available in EPA's Guide to Purchasing Green Power (PDF) (58 pp, 2MB). For additional information on the development of on-site projects please visit the Resources for On-site Projects Web page.
EPA provides its Green Power Partners with valuable technical support and advice on identifying products that meet your organization’s specific needs. Our staff can provide detailed information on a wide range of topics, including issuing requests for proposals, as well as pointers on navigating the on-site project development process.
The Guide to Purchasing Green Power (PDF) (58 pp, 2MB, About PDF) provides information about buying green power. It includes information on the different types of green power products and the benefits of green power purchasing, including how to capture the greatest benefit from your purchase. The Guide is the product of a cooperative effort between EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the World Resources Institute, and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS).