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.