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Whatcom County Uses Savings from Energy Efficiency and Purchases 100 Percent Renewable Energy

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2006 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

In September 2006, the Whatcom County Council (Washington) voted to use $62,000 out of $85,000 in projected energy efficiency savings for purchasing a block of renewable energy for a $0.01 per kWh premium. The renewable energy credits from Puget Sound Energy will cover 100 percent of the electricity used in county operations in 2007.

The County Council resolution (2006-58) is straightforward and outlines the dangers of global warming and the impact that renewable energy can play in limiting emissions. The resolution states that "energy conservation efforts in Whatcom County facilities over the past six years have yielded substantial savings in energy costs and these annual savings exceed the cost of buying renewable energy credits for 100% of the electricity used in Whatcom’s County government owned and operated facilities."

Whatcom County hopes that their initiative inspires other counties and local governments to adopt similar actions. The renewable energy purchase will effectively reduce GHG emissions from county operations by about one-third.



About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.


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