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EPA Recognizes Connecticut as One of Nation's Top Green Power Purchasers

The State of Connecticut is the first New England state to join EPA's Green Power Partnership and the second largest national purchaser of green power among state government partners. Connecticut's Governor Jodi Rell announced today that the state has increased its annual voluntary purchase of green power to nearly 84 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), representing nearly 12 percent of the state's total annual electricity usage.

"EPA applauds the State of Connecticut for doing their share to protect our environment by committing to use green power sources" said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Using 'green power' alternatives helps to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and also helps diversify our country's energy supply"

Connecticut's purchase of green power resources is in support of Governor Rell's Energy Vision for a Cleaner, Greener State, which set a goal of increasing the percentage of clean, renewable energy consumed by state government from all sources to 20 percent by the year 2020.

"I pledged to lead our state toward a green energy future and Connecticut will continue to lead by example with clean, renewable energy purchases" Governor Rell said. "We have demonstrated that we can be environmentally responsible and fiscally responsible at the same time. Connecticut's recent energy contracts achieved historic levels of green power and were accompanied by huge cost savings -- a true win-win for our environment and our taxpayers"

EPA estimates that the State of Connecticut's green power purchase of nearly 84 million kWh is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 9,000 passenger cars each year, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 10,000 average New England households annually.

Businesses and organizations in Connecticut that purchase green power and participate in EPA's Green Power Partnership include: Yale University, Connecticut College, the City of Hartford, Pitney Bowes, Aramark Parks and Resorts in Madison, and Honda of Westport.

"Green power" is defined as electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity with zero anthropogenic (caused by humans) carbon dioxide emissions and offer a superior environmental profile to conventional power generation. In addition, buying green power helps support the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.

The purchase helps support the state's Energy Vision for a Cleaner, Greener State initiative. The goal of the initiative is to create measurable ways to reduce the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, strengthen state energy policy over the long- and short-term and reaffirm Connecticut's position as a leader in renewable energy. Connecticut's status as the second largest state government purchaser of green power sources places them behind only the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

EPA's Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has hundreds of Partners voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities.

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