The city of Bainbridge Island has been awarded the 2017 Green Power Community of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
City officials said the annual awards recognize America’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market.
EPA presented the Bainbridge Island community with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2017 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in New York, New York on Oct. 23.
Bainbridge Island was the only “Green Power Community” to receive a leadership award for using renewable energy in amounts that meet or exceed EPA requirements for residents’ and businesses’ collective green power use.
City officials note that Bainbridge Island is currently using more than 16 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 8 percent of the community’s purchased electricity use. The city purchases 100 percent of its electricity for its municipal facilities through Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power program.
Green Power Communities distinguish themselves through their green power use, leadership, citizen engagement, renewable energy strategy and impact on the green power market.
“We are proud to receive this prestigious recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said City Manager Doug Schulze.
“Using green power helps our community become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the United States that supporting green power can help reduce air pollution and other emissions,” he said.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass and low-impact hydro.
According to the EPA, Bainbridge’s current green power use of more than 16 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 1,600 average American homes annually.
City officials said their commitment to sustainability is thoroughly ingrained in the city’s culture, from Bainbridge’s newly updated Comprehensive Plan, to the recently formed Climate Change Action Committee, to a City Green Team that focuses on ways to reduce the impact that the internal functions of city staff have on the environment.