GovNews: City of Takoma Park Offers Prize to Neighborhood that has the Highest Percentage of Households Buying Renewable Energy

In an effort to get twenty-five percent of all electricity accounts in Takoma Park to choose renewable electricity by September 30, 2018, the City of Takoma Park issued the Renewable Energy Challenge. The City has challenge neighborhoods to switch to 100% renewable electricity and the neighborhood team with the highest percentage of households buying renewable energy will win the grand prize and bragging rights.

ARTICLE | Aug 14, 2018
City of Takoma Park, MD

The new sustainability challenge is here! This summer everyone is being challenged to switch to 100 percent renewable energy. Apartments, houses and businesses all have the opportunity to choose 100 percent renewable electricity at a special rate.  The City’s goal is to have at least 25 percent of the city powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of September.  The neighborhood team (same teams as the 2015-2016 Neighborhood Energy Challenge) with the highest percentage of households buying renewable energy will win the grand prize and bragging rights.
The City of Takoma Park has long purchased 100 percent wind electricity through renewable energy credits for its own operations, and while residents and businesses have also been able to purchase renewable energy through a number of suppliers in Maryland, choosing the right supplier has been a barrier for many. Shopping the various suppliers and navigating in confusing contract terms, misleading advertising, high rates, and unclear sources of the power has led only a small percentage (est. 5 – 8 percent) of businesses and households in the city actually to
choose clean power.

To make the process easier and help the city achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals, The City of Takoma Park initiated an open proposal process and conducted research on rates, business reliability, power sources, and contract terms. The result is a partnership with Clean Choice Energy, a locally based Certified B-Corporation and renewable energy company that sources 100
percent of its power from wind and solar. For Takoma Park residents and businesses, it will supply 100 percent renewable energy generated in our region. Sourcing from nearby wind and solar farms leads to healthier air and cleaner water, while helping create new jobs in the state of Maryland. If we achieve our goal of 25 percent of the city choosing renewable energy, it willnhave the impact of avoiding the burning of more than 1 million pounds of coal.

CleanChoice is offering a special limited time rate for the Takoma Park campaign. The residential rate is just 8.6 cents per kWh, or about $10 more a month than an average Pepco bill. Businesses will see similar special rates as well. This rate will last for one year, and a special rate will be applied again at renewal, although rates may change slightly. The contracts are also great
with no cancellation fees, ever. To choose clean energy at this special rate, you mustvisit cleanchoiceenergy.com/Takoma and sign up by Sept. 30, 2018.

A major reason the city chose CleanChoice Energy is its strategy to honor Takoma Park’s commitments to improve socioeconomic equity in the city. Low-income households that sign up for CleanChoice renewable energy as part of this campaign will receive an annual rebate to offset the additional cost. Anyone that thinks they may qualify can contact ginam@takomaparkmd.gov
for the income qualification application and more information. You donot have to own a home to qualify.

This summer’s sustainability challenge supports the ongoing efforts to implement the 2014 Sustainable Energy Action Plan’s seventeen key strategies to reduce greenhouse as emissions. The effort to get as much of the city powered by renewable energy as possible is the next step in the implementation of the plan, following the successful Neighborhood Energy Challenge in 2015 – 2016 and the 2017 Car-Free Challenge.

How can you switch to clean energy? Go to CleanChoiceEnergy.com/go/Takoma or call 1-855-563-9774. Also keep an eye out for CleanChoice Energy representatives this summer, who will be tabling at community events. If you would like to host aneighborhood or team information session where the City’s Sustainability Manager and CleanChoice Energy can answer detailed
questions, contact ginam@takomaparkmd.gov to set it up.

About CleanChoice: CleanChoice holds itself to a higher standard than many businesses do. CleanChoice Energy is a Certified B- corporation, a member of the American Sustainable Business Council and the U.S. Green Building Council, and is certified with the highest available rating by Green America’s Green Business Network, the first and largest network of socially and environmentally responsible businesse.

Find out mor about the Neighborhood Energy Challenge here.

 

Gina Mathias,
Sustainability Manager,
City of Takoma Park
ginam@takomaparkmd.gov 

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