The EPA’s Ranking Of America’s Greatest Green Power Users

The Environmental Protection Agency ranks the largest users of green power nationally. Here’s who’s getting it right. 

The EPA keeps careful track of how organizations in their Green Power Partnership use energy – that organizations by kilowatt hours (kWh).

The rankings are based on annualized partner contract numbers, as opposed to annual year totals, so while the order isn’t definitive on all levels, it is illuminating.

This is also why despite percentage of green power usage, some companies with higher percentages rank lower than those having used more kilowatt hours.

In tech and telecom…

1. Intel – 3,100,850,00 kWh

For reference: 3 billion kWh is equivalent to avoiding greenhouse emissions from…

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Reigning supreme since 2008, Intel utilizes over 100% green power through biomass, biogas, solar, wind, and small-hydro energy.

2. Microsoft – 1,363,216,892 kWh

Pulling in at number 3 of all EPA partners, Microsoft utilizes over half of its electric capacity from green sources like biogas, biomass, solar, and wind.

Microsoft has also made a commitment to going carbon-neutral by placing an internal fee on carbon, holding business groups financially responsible for emissions.

3. Google 737,364,727 kWh

With 34% of its operations powered by green energy, Google uses biogas, solar, and wind power, and has been carbon neutral (by purchasing carbon offsets) since 2007.

Google has also committed over a billion dollars to renewable energy projects.

Runners up: Despite being deemed the world’s “least green” tech company in 2011, Apple has risen in terms of green energy usage, utilizing over 90% sustainable energy and ranking fourth in tech, eighth overall.

In retail…

1. Kohl’s – 1,536,529,000 kWh

For reference: equivalent to avoiding the CO2 emissions from…

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.05.59 AM

Since 2010, Kohl’s Department Stores have topped the list just behind Intel, with over 100 retail locations generating power onsite through solar panels, as well as two sites with wind power – 104.6% green power.

Kohl’s also recycles over 150,000 tons of material each year as part of an initiative to reduce waste.

2. Whole Foods – 800,257,623 kWh

Ranking in fourth overall, Whole Foods uses on-site solar and wind power to meet a whopping 107% of their energy needs.

As the first retail store to offset 100% of energy use with wind credits, Whole Foods strives as part of their mission to reduce, reuse, and recycle to stay green as can be.

3. Walmart – 650,716,703 kWh

Walmart has proven to be incredibly energy efficient, ranking in 6th overall in the EPA’s list.

The company uses biogas, solar, and wind power, which only amount to 3% its energy uses now, though their goal is to reach 100%.

Runners up: Staples, which comes in seventh of the top 10 total, using 100% clean energy via wind, solar, and biogas.

In government…

1. City of Houston, Texas – 622,887,000 kWh

For reference: Equivalent to carbon sequestered by…

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After signing a renewable power agreement with Reliant Energy, Houston’s purchase of green power from July 2013 until June 2015 will account for half its electricity demand.

The city is also involved in a wide variety of green city projects, such as composting and sponsorships of electric vehicles.

2. US Department of Energy – 594,703,934 kWh

Predictably, The US Department of Energy ranks relatively high, using biomass, wind, small-hydro to power 12% its electricity, and ranking in 10th overall on the EPA’s list.

3. District of Columbia – 534,084,977 kWh

Washington DC schools, firehouses, police stations, and city offices are all 100% wind powered as of 2012. The city has also been recognized by the EPA as the nation’s greenest community.

Runners up: The VA uses almost 12% green energy sources like biogas to power facilities all over the country, and the EPA itself uses 107% sustainable power, though its kWh amount ranks 23rd.

For the entire National Top 100 list, visit the EPA’s website here. 

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